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KE COLLECTIONS 






OF A 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 



IN TWO VOLUMES. 






■ 



VOL. L 




LONDON : 



T. C. NBWBY, 72, MORTIMER St., CAVENDISH S«j. 



1846. 









* 

1 



, 









PREFACE. 



Renee-Charlolte-Victoire de Froulay de 
Tesse, Marchioness de Crequy, de Hey- 
mont, de Canaples, etc., was one of the most 
remarkable women of her dav ; distinguished 
for the superiority of her character, her origi- 
nality of mind, and the unaffected charm of 
her manners. We may easily form an opinion 
of this by the manner in wlrch she is spoken of 
in the Memoirs of her contemporaries. 

Madame de Crequy, having nearly attained 
the age of a hundred, died in Paris, where 
she had had the courage to brave the dangers 
of the Revolution, and to resist the solicitations 
of the emigrant party. She resided in the Rue 
de Grenelle St. Germain, in an Hotel, the life- 
rent of which she had purchased from the 
Marquis de Feuquieres. It will be seen in the 
course of her Memoirs, that the Marchioness 
enjoyed a deplorable state of health, especially 



VOL. I. B 



2203 1 2 1 



2 PREFACE. 



for the last forty years of her life ; and on these 
grounds she often congratulated herself upon 
the good bargain that she had made ; for she 
had been seventy years in possession of it 
at the time of her death. 

The celebrated Princess des Ursins wrote 
from Rome, in 1722, to her Niece, the Duchess 
de la Tremoille, saying, "The young Marchio- 
ness de Crequy appears to me to be the person 
most worthy of remark here, inasmuch as she 
bears all the semblance of high birth, is a 
woman of honourable feelings, thoroughly ori- 
ginal in her ideas, and irreproachable in her 
conduct. 

Jean Jacques Rousseau remarked that she 

was c< le catholicisme en cornette, et la haute no- 
blesse en deshabille" 

Were we to quote from the authority of 
those who have lived nearer our own times we 
might mention the interest which the fame and 
name of Madame de Crequy excited in Napo- 
leon, and the esteem with which he regarded 
her ; also the high opinion entertained for her 
by the Abb6 Delille, as expressed in a letter 

addressed to the Vicomte de Vintimille, dated 
1788. 

u I am perfectly astounded at Madame de 



PREFACE. 3 



" Crequy ; I never met with, and never could 
" have imagined a more gifted mind. Her 
" judgment is sound and conscientious, and her 
" powers of penetration must make her a for- 
" midable person in the eyes of knaves and 
" fools ; I can now account for the reputation 
" she has gained for sarcasm and severity. She 
" possesses, in a pre-eminent degree, a talent 
€€ which appears to have belonged to past ages 
a and to be now extinct — that of conversing 
" without being either tedious or precipitate.' f 
These Memoirs were intended by the Au- 
thoress for the instruction of her grandson, 
the young Tancrede-Adrian-Raoul de CrSquy, 
who died, however, long before his grand- 
mother, but to whom she addresses herself in 
the early part of the work. 



B 3 



RECOLLECTIONS 



OP A 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 



CHAPTER I. 



Birth of the Authoress — A Convenient Register 
Her Fathers Family — The Convent — Interview 
with her Brother-— A Benedictine Abbess — The 
Baronne de Montmorency — The Refractory Nuns 
Triumphant — Her Companions — Antiquarian Re- 
searches — A Hint for Political Economists — Monu- 
mental Records — A Quasi Felony. 



Were I not reluctant to preface the recollec- 
tions of an eventful and not unimportant 



life by a somewhat absurd declaration, I 



should commence by telling you that I do 
not know when I was born ! and, improbable 






6 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



as the assertion seems, it is nevertheless per- 
fectly true. 

My mother died in giving me birth, when 
my father was at the head of his regi- 
ment of Royal-Comtois on the frontiers of 
Germany: thus you may readily imagine 
that in the midst of the distress which en- 
sued at the Chateau de Montflaux there were 
many other affairs to attend to besides that 
of entering my name on the books of the 
Parish vestry, where, forty years afterwards, 
as it happened, there existed no longer a 
register of any kind ! — The reason was this, 
the vicar had been in the habit of writing the 
names of those he baptised on a loose sheet 
and when any one applied to him for the 
record of a birth, he sometimes gave the 
original for the sake of saving trouble and 
stamped paper. 

I conclude that my mother's chaplain had 
had the precaution to baptise me, but as he 
died the following year, no one knew anything 
about it ; consequently when I was sent at 
the age of seven or eight to my aunt the 



FREXCH MARCHIONESS. 7 






coadjutrice of the Convent of Cordylon, she 
took care that the ceremony should be regu- 
larly performed according to my station. It 
had been considered proper that our cousin 
the Princesse des Ursins should be my God- 
mother, and that is the extent of my know- 
ledge on the subject 

I must not however omit to tell you that 
the old Steward of our estates in Maine, died 
of a stroke of paralysis a few days before my 
birth ; — also that my father, having been 
detained prisoner during seventeen months 
without receiving any tidings of his family, 
friends, or men of business, only heard of the 
death of my poor mother on his landing at 
the Chateau de Versailles, where his uncle, 
Marshal de Tesse, met him and quietly ad- 
vised him to put himself into mourning ! 

It was afterwards calculated, as nearly 
as possible that I must have been born 
either towards the latter part of the year 
1699, or in the course of the following year, 
or else, early in 1701 ; at all events it was a 
matter of small importance in the eyes of 



8 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



my father, because, as he said to me, the 
Notoriete puhlique and the possession d'etat 
were quite sufficient ; for, after all, I was 
but a daughter 1 

Of my early childhood, all that I remem- 
ber is, that I inhabited a tower in the Cha- 
teau de Montflaux where I was exceedingly 
cold in winter and exceedingly hot in sum- 
mer. I had two female servants and a one- 
eyed laquais to take charge of, and attend 
on me, and such was my terror of that man 
that he was forbidden to enter my apart- 
ments. My father's Steward proposed sub- 
stituting a mulatto in his place, and I really 
believe he must have wished to throw me 
into convulsions and kill me for the benefit 
of my brother! Instead of that however, 
(to show you that " Vhomme propose et Dieu 
dispose") I became myself in after times his 
heiress. 

At this period, my family consisted of my 
father's only sister (the Nun of Cordylon) 
and her four brothers. These were, the 
Bishop of Mans, a worthy and pious prelate, 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 9 



who had refused to forsake the see of Mans 
to become Archbishop and Archicomte of 
Lyons, with an income of more than a hun- 
dred thousand crowns a year. 

Next, the Commandeur*, who afterwards 
became bailli de Froulay, a brave and dis- 
tinguished naval officer. It was said that he 
could never return to Malta under penalty 
of being decapitated for having insulted the 
Grand Master, Don Raymond de Perellos, by 
snatching from him the keys of St. Sepulcre 
which this high and mighty personage wore 
suspended from his official girdle according 
to custom. The successor of Don Raymond, 
Don Manuel de Vilhena, also a Castilian, 
followed up the insult with unappeased ven- 
geance, even to the Court of France — but 
H. M. Christian Majesty left the Knights of 
Malta to fight it out amongst themselves, and 
would never proceed against the Comman- 
deur de Froulay, who, in spite of his offence, 
was afterwards presented to one of the best 



* Commandery of the Knights of Malta. 
B 5 



10 KEC0LLECTI0KS OF A 



livings of his order, and one of the wealthiest 
attainable by those of his nation. 

Then came the Abbe-Commendataire of 

Notre Dame de Vallemonts, who was Almoner 
to the King and nothing else. 

Next to him, another Abbe de Froulay 
Count de Lyons who died young, of whom I 
know little, beyond that he could not endure 
the fish called burt. He said one day to my 
Grandmother in a tone of the utmost disgust 
and aversion, 

" I can only assure you that if there were 
no living creatures in existence save myself 
and a burt, the world would very soon come 
to an end !" 

My aunt the Coadjutrice was the youngest 
of the family, and besides being the most 
amiable and gifted of her sex, she was a 
strict and pious Nun of the order of St. 
Benoit. To continue, there was my father, 
who thought of no one but my brother, the 
Marquis de Montflaux, and lastly we had 
the happiness of possessing the Dowager 
Marchioness de Froulay, my grandfather's 



FBEffCH MARCHIONESS. 11 



second wife, of whom I shall often have oc- 
casion to speak. She lived in Paris and I 
only became acquainted with her at the time 
of my marriage. 

I need not here mention the elder branch 
of our house, because M. le Marechal and 
Mme. la Marechale de Tesse rarely quitted 
Versailles, unless for the purpose of present- 
ing themselves at the Court of Fontainebleau. 

Without reckoning two Demoiselles de 
Froulay, our Cousins a la mode de Bretagne, 
who married (I never could tell why) two 
Messieurs de Breteuil, and of whom I shall 
take some future notice, we had also two 
great-grand-uncles, high dignitaries of the 
Church of Malta, who never left their lordly 
livings. One of them though, grand-prior 
of the order, died in Paris, at the age of 
103 ; I am not sure that it was not 104, 
for he also had no baptismal register ! It 
was not even known whether he was born 
at Marseilles or at. Montgeron, near Paris ; 
it was one or the other, but which, he nei- 
ther knew nor cared ! 









12 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



My ancestors used to exclaim 

" The idea of the Notoriete publique and 
the Possession d'etat ! — what have we to do 
with baptismal records \ — do they take us 
for peasants V 

Between the age of seven and nine years 
I was conveyed in a litter to the Abbey to 
which my aunt now belonged, where at first 
I felt rather out of my element, on account 
of being unable to speak or understand any 
language but the dialect of the province of 
Maine. 

I had then never seen my father, and the 
first time my brother and I met he must 
have been at least eighteen. To this day I 
can neither imagine who had brought him 
up, nor where he had lived during all those 
years. 

My father used to laugh and tell me, ia 
answer to my questioning, that I was very 
inquisitive, and that it concerned no one but 
the Bishop of Mans, under whose superin- 
tendence the education of the young noble- 
man had been perfected. 



■ 

FKE5CH MARCHIONESS. 13 



At last, my brother visited the Abbey of 
Montivilliers, where I saw him arrive in 
great state, with a numerous retinue and 
superbly dressed. 

He was a fine looking young man, with 
much confidence of manner, and in feature 
the very image of that handsome statue of 
the Pastor de Couston on the Terrace de la 
Seine near the entrance of the Tuileries. 
One would have declared that the sculptor 
had had the gift of foresight and really in- 
tended it for him ! 

And so I had actually a brother ! a hand- 
some delightful brother ! oh ! the rapture of 
seeing him ! I gazed upon him with my 
eyes full of tears, and when he embraced 
me I was indeed happy ! 

I remember he asked me how old I was 
and upon my answering, innocently, that I 
did not know, he gravely told me that it 
was wrong to laugh at an elder brother ! 

The Marquis remained a week at the Ab- 
bey to assist at the solemn installation of 
my aunt, who had quitted her Convent at 






14 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



Cordylon, in the diocese of Bayeux, to 
succeed the Princess Maria de Gonzague as 
head of the high and influential Church of 
Montivilliers, which reckons no less than 
one hundred and twenty eight seignorial 
steeples subject to her jurisdiction, and over 
which she exercises her feudal power. 

Next to the Princesse de Guemenee and 
the Abbess of Frontevrauld, the Abbess of 
Montivilliers is undoubtedly the greatest 
lady in France. 

Our uncle, the Bishop of Mans, came to 
consecrate his sister, and I also performed a 
part at the holy ceremony by carrying, on a 
violet satin cushion, the missal of Madame. 

Before we parted, my brother gave me a 
proof his kind-heartedness, by assuring me, 

■ 

with an air of mingled good -nature and 
decision, that if I did not wish to become a 
Benedictine, he would allow no one to com- 
pel me. 

" Alas !" was my answer ; "am I then 
required to be a Bernardine \ I should die 
of grief! There is no Order equal to St« 



FRESCII MARCHIONESS. 15 



Benoit ; and I never wish to join any society 
but that of Citeaux." 

" But that is not the point in question/' 
he replied. " I thought perhaps you might 
like just as well to be married." 

This supposition on his part appeared to 
me rather irrational, yet it was constantly 
recurring to my mind — perhaps for that 
very reason. 

I believe that some of my family, in the 
life- time of my brother, desired nothing 
better than that I should take the veil, but 
my aunt the Abbess, and my uncle the 
Bishop, were not people to sanction or 
countenance any sort of compulsion in a 
matter of conscience, particularly on that 
subject. Monsieur du Mans always investi- 
gated the motives of every novice about to 
take the veil in the Convents within his 
diocese, in order to prevent the admission 
of poor young girls who might have been 
intimidated by their families, or otherwise 
improperly induced ; on one ocasion in par- 
ticular, my aunt was instrumental in pre- 



16 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



vailing on a very pretty novice to quit the 
cloister, and gave her, moreover, a portion 
enabling her to marry a Chevau-leger, be- 
cause she knew they were devotedly at- 
tached to each other. 

She was one of our relations, Mademoi- 
selle de Charette. The young officer and 
his novice were a nephew and niece of the 
Baronne de Montmorency, who had insisted 
on condemning the poor girl to a cloister 
and who finally disinherited her for marry- 
ing her cousin, because he was only a younger 
son of the De Clisson family. 

This just and charitable Baroness was a 
Jansenist,** an agitator, and an intimate 
friend of the famous Deacon Paris, whom 
she assisted in all his pious undertakings, 

and with whom she was constantly employed 
in weaving coarse cloth and trimming 



* A sect of the Roman Catholics in France who 
followed the opinion of Jansenius, Bishop of Yprea 
in 1635, in relation to grace and predestination. 

(Note of Translator) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 17 






wooden shoes with sheep's skin until her 
hands were as rough, red, and horny, as 
those of a mechanic. 

Madame de Montivilliers had to examine 
into the ecclesiastical department, as well as 
to arrange the temporal affairs of this Con- 
vent ; for it had been without an Abbess for 
many years, owing to the refusal of the Nuns 
to receive a certain Lady Hornet de Boisville 
in that capacity. 

There were eeveral reasons for this ; the 
principal one of which was, that the family 
of this Hornet de Boisville had been too 
recently ennobled. The Court was not in- 
clined to exert its power against resistance 
in a case of Conventual discipline, particu- 
larly in opposition to the high-born Nuns, 
whose privileges had been thus assailed ; 
therefore they had recourse to the law. The 
case was accordingly tried before the Parlia- 
ment of Rouen ; and there the Crown lost 
its suit against the Benedictines. 

My aunt had also to repress several abuses 
that had crept into the interior of the Con- 



18 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



vent, besides being obliged to maintain the in- 
dependence of her Monastic authority, and 
the feudal rights of her jurisdiction ; of which 
duties she acquitted herself both diligently 
and conscientiously. 

As Madame de Montivilliers would not 
undertake the fatigue and responsiblity of 
" pensionnaires" she admitted none but her 
relations into the Abbey ; thus, my only 
companions were the two sisters of the Due 
d'Harcourt, one of whom married Comte 
Clery-Crequy, and the other became Visitan- 
dine, at Caen. 

The eldest, Mademoiselle de Beuvron, was 
amiable and pretty ; and I only hope her 
husband was not treating her as she deserved 
when he caused her to be imprisoned by a 

lettre de cachet. 

The youngest, Mademoiselle de Chatelle- 
rault, was not nearly so excellent, nor so 
agreeable as her sister. When I heard, some 
time afterwards, that she had died in the 
odour of sanctity, I was surprised ; and I 
had no inclination to ask for any relic of lier! 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 19 



Besides these young ladies, there was a 
brood of demoiselles d'Houdetot at the 
Abbey, who were always dressed in serge of 
the same kind and colour, and walked in a 
row, according to their height and age, like 
the pipes of an organ ; but as they were 
proud creatures, although educated there on 
charity, and above all as they were stupid 
to a degree, they were rarely admitted into 
the little court of Madame, consequently 
I knew little of them. 

Mademoiselle de Chatellerault used to call 
them " the works of La Mere Gigogne, in 
seven Volumes !" and the Abbess heard that 
they regularly spent three hours every day 
in counting each other's freckles ! 

My aunt was anxious that I should be 
well instructed in religion, and she made 

* 

me study sacred and profane history with 
great care, and common theology also> 
thinking it might be useful at that time in 
guarding me against the new errors of Jan- 
senism. Geography I learnt of course, and 
mythology, as well as French and foreign 



20 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



genealogies, heraldry, Italian, and the best 
literature of the day. I wished to acquire 
Latin, as my aunt and all the dignitaries 
of her society understood it well, but not- 
withstanding my reputation of being clever* 
I must own I never got beyond a third-class 
scholar. 

My great ambition was to know how to 
read old manuscripts ; I was in the habit of 
spending two or three hours every day in a 
large room in the Abbey where ancient 
deeds were kept, and there I once decy- 



phered two old Charters, by which means 



a law-suit was gained by Mesdames de 



Monti villiers which had been pending be- 
tween them and the Bishop of Coutances for 
upwards of 130 years. In short, I was 
always poring over huge old books, and 
when I could obtain nothing better, I read 
dictionaries and Church Anthems. 

I remember, in the Chapel where the 
Abbesses were interred, there were two 
magnificent lamps, one of which was of the • 
most beautiful gold workmanship in the 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 21 



gothic style, enriched with precious stones 
set in gold also. This was kept constantly 
burning , whilst the other, in chased silver, 
was rarely lighted. 

As I never could rest without knowing, 

or enquiring into the reason of everything, 
I discovered that the gothic lamp was esta- 
blished about the year 1200, and that having 
been dotee (or endowed) in corn, the ex- 
pence of keeping it burning all the year 
round was thus defrayed ; whilst the other, 
which had not been established until 1550, 
could only be lighted during four months 
out of the twelve on account of its having 
been dotee en numeraire, or by a payment 
of money. 

Surely this fact might furnish material 
for an excellent chapter on political econo- 
my ! I always forgot to speak to M. Turgot 
about it. 

I was in the habit of frequently visiting this 
sepulchral Chapel to pray and muse amongst 
the tombs, monuments, and epitaphs of the 
pious, and noble predecessors of my aunt. 



22 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



I often spent whole hours there, towards the 
close of the day, without feeling either 
afraid or uncomfortable, for it seemed to me 
whilst I stood amongst those silent Abbesses 
of Montivilliers, as though I were surrounded 

by a family circle ; and here let me remark 
that I had never any fear of the dead, pro- 
vided they were only women, and provided 
also, I had no cause to suspect them of any 
want of piety during their lives. 

That Catholics should put faith in the 
visible apparition, or auricular communi- 
cation of the dead, to whom God has given 
permission to make themselves manifest in 
order to obtain our prayers, is perfectly rea- 
sonable, inasmuch as we believe in purgatory, 
as also in the efficacy of indulgences springing 
from the supererogatory merits of saints, and 
the suffrages of the Universal Church ; but 

* 

for Protestants — who believe in predestina- 
tion either to salvation, or to the pains of 

Hell, irrespectively of prayers and good 
works — for them to have belief in ghosts, 
would appear a delusion, an absurdity I not- 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 23 



withstanding which, I have remarked, that 
they are much more possessed with ideas of 
visions, revelations, ghosts and apparitions, 
than we are. Since the prayers of their 
co-religionists are of no avail to the dead 
Protestants, why should living Protestants 
suppose that God would allow their dead to 
appear to those who never pray for them ? 
God would not suspend the order of things 
which he himself has established, except in 
some particular instance of mercy for his 
elect, therefore the Huguenots who think 
they see visions, are more to blame than some 
Catholics who are over-credulous, that is to 
say, that they have dared to attribute to 
God acts of puerility, and unreasonableness 

■- 

of the most eccentric kind. God has created 
us in his own image. Verily we do the like 
by him in our hearts. 

" You are a strange girl," said the Abbess 
to me one day, " how can you remain so late 
in our vaults without fear \* 

" But, aunt, why should I be afraid of 
sainted spirits % What could the Abbesses 



24 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



» 



» 



do to me unless indeed they gave me their 
blessing % If there were Knights, or Esquires, 
or Monks there, whom I had never seen or 
known, then I should really be dreadfully 
frightened ; but I never believed the story 
the tall d'Houdetot told me, of having re- 
ceived a violent blow from the crosier of 

" Of whom pray V* 

" Why of Madame de Gonzague.... 

one day on approaching her Monument 

" That is another of Mademoiselle d'Hou- 
detot's absurdities !" exclaimed my aunt, " as 
it happens, that statue has no crosier in its 
hand ! Possibly it was a breviary instead, 
which it would have served Mile. d'Houdetot 
perfectly right to have had thrown at her head ! 
but observe I beg, the irreverence and want 

■ 

of skill exhibited in her invention ! observe 
also the utter falsehood! in future re- 
member I forbid you to listen to her stories 
or to hold any conversation with her ! " 

In an isolated spot in the Chapel there 
was a tomb of black marble, raised by three 
steps, on which was a beautiful recumbent 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 25 



figure (attributed in the obituary of the 
convent to the famous sculptor Jean Gou- 
geon) representing a young Abbess of Monti- 
villiers, of the family of Montgomery. I 
saw by her epitaph that she had died at the 
age of nineteen — that she had been "un- 
happy, and persecuted by those who knew 
the kindness of her heart, and whom she 
had overwhelmed with favours ; — pray for 
her enemies" was the petition expressed in 
the last line of the inscription. 

Round the fourtli finger of the right hand, 
which hung drooping over the edge of the 
monument, the sculptor had introduced, 
means of an incision in the marble, the 
signet of an Abbess, which this young Nun 
had worn in her lifetime, and in which, ac- 
cording to the ritual, was set, a violet stone. 
Her pectoral cross was similarly ornamented 
and appeared as if falling from a violet rib- 
bon, represented by an incrustation of thin 
plates of feldspath, exquisitely inlaid. 




c 



26 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



Her own golden crosier was held in the 
uplifted hands of a veiled figure, behind and 
above the head of the recumbent statue, 
over which all the winding acanthus leaves, 
carved roses, and gold settings, formed the 
most grand yet graceful kind of canopy im- 
aginable. 

The face, hands, arms, and the uncovered 
feet, were all of white marble, whilst the 
long veil, choir robes, and ample sleeves were 
in beautiful black marble ; I never saw dra- 
peries so broadly and yet so lightly executed. 

I remember also that her head rested on a 
pillow of imperial (or violet coloured) por- 
phyry, encircled by au ornamental binding, 
chased and gilt, to imitate an arabesque 
border, with gold tassels. Nothing, in fact, 






could be more perfect both in composition 
and execution than this beautiful monument 
of the time oi the Valois. 

For that statue, and the person whom it 

represented, I had a stronger predilection 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 27 



than for any of her entombed sisters, and 
when there was no one to see me, I never 
left the chapel without kissing her hand. 
. With the performance of this act, how- 
ever, I always mingled many scruples of 
conscience, for, when I did not consider my- 
self in a " state of grace/' (though at that 
period, Heaven be praised ! my offences could 
have been but very venial faults !) I never 
ventured to press my lips on the beautiful 
marble hand, but confined myself to merely 
kissing the ring of Madame, as the lay- 
sisters and clercs-minores would have done. - 

One evening, I fancied I felt it move be- 
neath my lips — (the ring, not the hand 
thank goodness !) and thinking it was not 
sufficiently, secure I took hold of it by the 
setting of the amethyst to satisfy myself. 

In an instant the ring was off, and resting 
in my hand ! 

I magine what my feelings were, when I 
then heard, on the same side of the chapel, 

the sound of approaching feet ! 

c 3 ' 



28 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



Fortunately it was only an old Nun who 
came slowly along to kneel and say a prayer 
at the tomb of another Abbess, Madame de 
Hautemer, (a high Norman family now ex- 
tinct) who had died in the odour of sanctity ; 
but to avoid an explanation which might 
have involved me in some trouble, I carried 
away the ring and have never restored it t 

My aunt, to whom I confessed my sin and 
confided my reverence for the defunct, began 
by insisting on the restitution of the signet, 
telling me at the same time that it was a 
kind of theft, but I reasoned so well on the 
worship of relics — which, after all, are but 
fragments for distribution, bearing no more 
personal reference to saints in Paradise than 
any other piece of stone or metal — in short 
my logic was bo convincing and so affecting, 
that Madame de Froulay ended by allowing 
me to keep the ring of Madame de Montgo- 
mery, on condition that it was replaced by 
one exactly similar, the expence of which 
(in order to act as uprightly as possible) was 



FRENCH MARCHIOXESS. 29 



to be defrayed from my own pocket money. 
Notwithstanding, this indulgent and ex- 
cellent aunt had the kindness so to increase 
my little allowance that I neither felt the 
loss myself, nor did my poor people suffer 
by it. 

When the new ring arrived from Rouen, 
where it had been blessed by the Archbishop 
at the request of Madame de Montivilliers 
(in order that it might be the medium of 
those indulgences in which the Church of 
Rome believes,) she took care that it should 
be affixed to the marble finger in her own 
presence, and for ever, as she believed, and 
we also. 

The entrance grating of the chapel was 
then closed and without any unnecessary or 
imprudent explanation, my aunt desired me 
to go there no more, for fear I should take 
cold ! 









30 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



/ 






CHAPTER II. 






The Dispersion of the Holy Vessels — The Authoress's 
Pious Horror of Commerce- -The Norman Pea- 
santry — Sorcery and Suicide — The Beggar — Mde. 
d'Houdetot-^-A Discovery— Nocturnal Procession 
Curiosity Punished — The Trial — An Unbroken 
Spirit — Mile, des Houliferes — Mme. de Montes- 
pan — An Eccentric Character — His objections to 
Ladies' Maids — The Wild Beast of G^vaudan — A 



Tenth Muse. 






In the treasury and sacristy of the Abbey 
there were numbers of holy vases, reliquaries 

dyptiques * and manuscripts of the middle 
ages — also a collection of wonderfully curi- 

ous and valuable altar decorations. 

On learning, with grief, that all these had 
been annihilated in the time of the Revolu- 
tion, I was surprised to find that the country 



* A Church Register. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 31 



people had taken the greatest care not to 
injure or destroy the least thing ; after hav- 
ing secured them from the revolutionary 
authorities they had divided the treasures 
amongst themselves ; they then made them 

- 

up in packages and sent them to the Spanish 
and Portuguese Colonies, where the whole 
cargo sold remarkably well. 

In no other province of France was such 
an arrangement ever thought of, and almost 
every where else they destroyed all they 
could find, so that neither proprietor nor 
plunderer reaped any profit. 






. 



The English did precisely the same at the 

period of their attempted religious reforma- 
tion. With regard to images and different 
objects of our worship, they only destroyed 
those which they could not remove ; the 
rest were conveyed to France, Spain, Italy, 
and other Catholic countries, where they 
opened Bazaars for the sale of Crucifixes and 
all sorts of Church ornaments ! They had 
even the prudence to preserve and bring us 



32 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



all the " Dateries-bullcUres," and " Authen- 
tiques" of Rome relating to relics, and sold 
them to us in the diocese of Mans ! (Chalices 
and monstrances * they were not allowed to 
expose for sale — nor the patena, and holy 
pyxes — so says my old Oorroset.) 

I never could endure in the Normans that 
spirit of calculation and love of gain which 
appears to influence their every action ! The 
Normans, to the rest of the French, are ex- 
actly what the English are to the rest of 
Europe. They may say what they please of 
the advantages of traffic and the benefit of 
commerce, but in my opinion it comprises 
all that is most ' sordid and despicable. 

Pillage and destruction from violence and 
blind ignorance I should prefer a hundred 
times over, to sacrilege and preservation 
from motives of trade and mercantile profit. 



* Monstrance (Ostensior) the vessel in which the 
Consecrated Wafer, or Host, is placed, while the 
congregration is blessed with it. Pyx (Ciboire) is 
the vessel in which the Wafer is kept before Con- 
secration. — ( Translator's Note.) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 33 



I always told that good M. Turgot that 
Joseph sold by his Brethren was the first 
instance of a commercial transaction, and a 
pattern for every one that succeeded it ! 

I have never yet forgotten the cunning, 
obstinate and subtle character of the pea- 
sants of Normandy ; their very accent, so 
drawling and so sly, seems to tell of their 
quarrelsome, deceitful disposition. 

They are governed by the strangest laws ! 
If, for example, a peasant in the neighbour- 
hood wishes to cheat you out of a hedge, he 



ght with 






(which are easily obtained in Normandy) 
and cut a tree from it on your side of the 
boundary. He will bury or carry it away, or 
by some means, conceal it, and then go to 
law with you, declaring, that the hedge is not 
yours but his ! His witnesses will be ready 
to swear that he cut, or caused to be cut, 
wood from that hedge, at such and such a 
time ; and if, either from negligence, or igno- 
rance of the act, you have not taken him up for 

c 5 



34 RECOLLFCTIOKS OF A 



theft before the expiration of a year, you 
may rest assured you will lose your cause, 
and the hedge will be proved his property ! 

With such laws, and in a rich and fertile 
country, how can it be expected that the 
peasants will become otherwise than thieves, 
or at all events cheats % 

I remember, in one of my country walks 
with Mesdemoisellesd'Harcourt telling a little 
Norman girl, about six or seven years of age, 
to go and look for a handkerchief that I had 
forgotten, and left in her father's cottage. 
He was a cattle-feeder, and we had been 
there to drink milk. 

" Mam'zelle," was the child's answer, " you 

will find it difficult to prove you left it there 
perhaps V 

"I have witnesses!" I exclaimed, trium- 
phantly ; but the little wretch was clever 
enough to insinuate that possibly the testi- 
mony of Mesdemoiselles d'Harcourt might 
not hold good in law, because they did not 

appear to be filles majeures, or of age I 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 35 



Another time iny aunt summoned before 
iier an old shepherd whom every one accused 
of witchcraft, and in the present case, of 
having bewitched all the sheep belonging to 

a vassal of the Abbey. 

" Unfortunate man," said my aunt, " is it 
possible that you can have so far forsaken 
God, the angels, and the saints, as to com- 
mit sorcery 1 

" Ma fine Madame I" he replied, " I help 
myself on by it whenever I can I" 

" Then," returned the Abbess, " I see 
that if you are not in reality a sorcerer, it 
is not for want of the will ! I shall there- 










fore condemn you, by virtue of my legal 
jurisdiction, to eight days imprisonment ; 
after that, you continue in your wickedness 

- 

I shall send you before the Parliament of 
Rouen, where they sentence all who are 
guilty of such mal-practices to be burnt 
moreover, to be burnt alive — mark my 



words !" 












•' You shall not have the trouble/' was 



36 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



his answer, '* I have lived my time," and the 
next morning we heard that he had strangled 

himself in his cell. 

We were in consequence obliged to draw 
up a deposition, and for five days and nights 
did that dreadful corpse remain in the prison 
of the Abbey, to our infinite horror. 

The case was not removed to the tribunal 
of Rouen, of course, but according to the 
sentence pronounced in the Abbatial Court, 
the body was placed on a sort of hurdle 
composed of leafless branches, side by side 
with that of a dead dog. It was then drag- 
ged by an ass, (the feet of the man being 
tied to the tail of the animal) to the gibbet 
belonging to the Abbey, under which, the 
executioners' people buried it with that of 
the dog. 

Thus were suicides dealt with under the 
jurisdiction of Montivilliers, but as there 
existed about that time some slight feeling 
of hostility against the exercise of ecclesias- 
tical authority,- the cavillers and sceptics of 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 37 



Cotentin, insisted that the witch of Mon- 
tivilliers, ought not to have been dragged on 
a hurdle as a suicide — it was doing him an 
injury, and an injustice they said, for un- 
doubtedly it was the Devil who had wrung 
his neck. 

The vergers and porters, who lived out- 
side the Convent walls, had given a poor 
beggar permission to sleep every night under 
an arch in the large high vault which led 
into the first court of the Abbey. 

This miserable man had neither arms nor 

legs ; a poor unknown woman, young, and 

almost pretty, came every morning, they 

said, with a kind of wheel- barrow to fetch 

him, and place him at the side of the high 

road where he begged of the passers-by. 

Bread, soup and cider, were given to him 

from the Abbey, but he rarely consumed 
them. 

It happened that two murders had been 
committed on that very high road ; the Ab- 



38 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



bess's Court had used every exertion to dis- 
cover the perpetrator but in vain — no trace 
could be found, and consternation spread 
far and wide ; monitory letters were issued, 
processions took place, and public prayers 
were demanded at the Abbey. 

There are no cowards equal to the Nor- 
man peasants when robbers are in question 
nothing will ever induce them to expose 
themselves in the pursuit of them, or to in- 
cur their resentment. 



« in 



They are like a legion of devils! we 
dare not irritate them ; our orchards are in 
the open air, and our families sleep out of 
doors ;" was the burden of the peasant's 
song, in answer to every summons from the 
Seneschal of Montivilliers, and not one could 
be prevailed on to keep watch or to act as 
patrol during the night. 

In the mean time my aunt received a 
letter from the Procureur-general of Nor- 
mandy* warning her to be on her guard, 



PREXCH MARCHIONESS. 39 



and telling her of the discovery of a plot 
directed against the treasure- chest in the 
sacristy of the Convent. 

L'intendant of Rouen sent a brigade of 
mounted patrol for our protection, which 
proved very unfortunate for Mademoiselle 
d'Houdetot, for she fell desperately in love 
with the brigadier, and was in consequence 
sent home to her relations, where she re- 
ceived, as we were afterwards told, some 

" coups de crosse " in reality. 

One autumn evening, after ten o'clock had 
struck, this beggar without arms or legs, 
whom I have mentioned to you, was still 
absent from his archway, and it was con- 
jectured that the woman who took charge of 
him had neglected to bring him back to his 
accustomed place. 

The gate-keepers were good-natured 
enough to wait for him until half-past ten, 
upon which the sceur-celleriere sent for the 
keys in order to carry them as usual to the 






40 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



Prioress, who always slept with them under 
her pillow, 

Instead, however, of the keys of the Abbey 
which she expected, they b» ought her a 
piece of startling intelligence. A rich and 
able-bodied farmer had just been attacked on 
the high road ; with his cudgel he had 
felled one of the assassins, whom the mounted 
patrol had now brought, with his accomplice, 
to the gates of the court. 

They demanded that the cells of the 
prison should be opened for the admittance 
of the two culprits, and they also asked per- 
mission for the farmer to pass the remainder 
of the night in the interior of the first court, 
lest he should again fall into the hands of 
the robbers. 

The Prioress declared that it was too ' 
late, so they then awoke the Abbess, who 
immediately ordered all the gates specified 
by the Brigadier, beyond the claustral limits, " 
to be opened, but the old Benedictine argued 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 41 



so obstinately upon the " rules" and " sta- 
tutes" that my aunt was obliged to go and 
take possession of the keys herself, since the 
old lady was determined not to give them 

up. 

As an Abbess of Montivilliers is not 

strictly confined to the precincts of the 
Nunnery, my aunt, who was the most per- 
fectly charitable and courageous woman in 
the world, considered it her duty to proceed 
even as far as the first court, attended how- 
ever by a suitable retinue. 

She was preceded by a cross-bearer be- 
tween two acolytes, each carrying a wax 
taper ; twelve assistantes followed her with 
lowered veils and hands crossed upon their 

breasts ; and all the lay-sisters of the 
convent in their large grey hoods were 
grouped around their respective superiors, 
bearing long, lighted torches in those beauti- 
ful gothic lanterns of painted glass which are 
used in night-processions round the cloisters, 



42 RECOLL'.'CTIOXS OF A 



and on which are stained the Arras of the 
Royal Abbeys. 

In the first place Madame deMontivilliers 
caused the prison gates to be opened, which 
no one but herself would have dared to have 
done in defiance of the Prioress. She then 
admitted the farmer into the court and had 
cordials administered to him ; the surgeon 
next examined the person who had been 
wounded, and discovered him to be a man 
in woman's clothes ; after which we were 
told by the farmer that the other criminal 
was no less than the wretched beggar who 
had been nightly sheltered under the porch 
of the Abbey, and who was then before our 
eyes on a hand-barrow, waiting the time when 
he should be thrown into the dungeon he so 
well deserved. 

His trunk was that of a giant deprived of 
all limbs except a stump, the remains of an 
arm ; and his head seemed to me enormous. 
He was covered with wounds and cakes of 



* 



FRENCH MARCUIONfiSS. 43 



mud, with which 1 his ragged hair and beard 
were also matted. The tatters that were on 
him were soaked in the same ; and there, in 
the midst of JN"uns, and holy torches gleam- 
ing through their ancient painted lanterns, 
glared the eyes of this murderer ! — eyes of a 
greenish hue — more sinister, more villanous 
than could be imagined even in the most 
frightful nightmare. 

When all the arrangements for general 
safety were completed with judgment, me- 
thod, prudence, and presence of mind, 
Madame de Montivilliers raised her veil, and 

the whole assembly fell on their knees to 
receive her blessing. 



As I had introduced myself by stealth 



that night amongst the Nuns in attendance 
on Madame, I was made to do penance for 
three days, that is 1 was banished from the 
Abbatial to a distant cell, where my only 
companion was a sceur econome, as deaf as 
a post, whose whole and continual conversa- 
tion, was upon the different modes of pre- 






44 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



serving eggs, and drying french-beans. Three 
times four-and-twenty hours did I remain 
without hearing any news of our robbers ! 
and never was there a more ingenious pen- 
ance devised for an impatient and inquisitive 
little girl than this ! My aunt was exceed- 
ingly diverted at having invented it. 

In the recess where the cripple was in the 
habit of sleeping, they discovered several 
blades of knives and daggers, as well as a 
rouleau of sixty louis dor which he had 
hidden beneath bundles of sticks. Amongst 
his rags, a fillagree reliquary was found, be- 
longing to Mademoiselle de Beuvron ; an 
A gnus-Dei ; two wafers, and a pair of gold 
scissars, with a great quantity of hair of 
every possible shade and colour, which gave 
rise to a suspicion that some person in the 
interior of the Convent must have been in 
league with him, for, since the arrival of 
my aunt, all the Nuns, Novices, and pen- 
sionaires had had their hair cut according to 
certain regulations ; this was afterwards sold 



. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 45 




the lay-sisters at the fair at Guibray 
for the benefit of the Brotherhood of St. 
Rosaire : at all events we unanimously agreed 
that he had procured it in order, by some 
means or other, to bewitch us ! 

The two wafers were immediately burnt 
for fear they should have been consecrated, 
thus securing them from all risk of profa- 
nation. 

The facts elicited by the trial were these ; 
that at ten o'clock on the evening of the 
fourth of November 1712, this beggar placed 
under a tree by the side of the high road, 
had, in piteous and imploring accents, begged 
of the farmer who was returning from the 
Fair at Caen ; that the cripple had more- 
over particularly requested the farmer to 
come close to him in order that the piece or 
pieces of money which he might bestow 
should fall into the hat at his feet. It was 
discovered afterwards, (for it was scarcely 
visible), that this beggar handled a long 
pole, by means of what remained of his arm> 



46 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



and held it close to his body. At the top 

of the pole was a heavy weight composed of 

planks of wood, hidden in the branches of 

the tree, and this he had brought down with 

great violence on the head of the farmer. 

At that moment the young man in woman's 

clothes appeared, and began by stabbing the 

farmer's horse in two places; these blows 
however were so well returned that the man 

died before they reached the Abbey ; the 
farmer then galloped on to Montivilliers to 
summon the patrol, who placed the two as- 
sassins on the same truck, and brought us 
their precious prize in the middle of the 
night! as the Church published monitory 
letters, the peasants deposed that they had 
known of several horrible acts committed bv 



those two wretches, one of whom, it appeared, 

was father to him who was disguised as a 

■ 



woman. 






The trial was removed to a higher court, 
by which many cases of theft and murder 
were discovered, and it ended by the cul- 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS, 47 



prit being condemned to be broken on the 
wheel ! 

It was observed that this man had the 
accent and expressions peculiar to Lorraine, 
but as they could neither ascertain his name 
nor his birthplace, he was executed on the 
scene of his last crime. 

Whilst undergoing his sentence at Monti- 
viiliers, he bit off the two first joints of the 
executioner's finger, grinding them between 
his teeth like a wild beast, and then swal- 
lowing them. 

We were told that he was so powerfully 
made that the executioner had the greatest 
difficulty in breaking his breast-bone, and 
that to the last moment of his life, the 
miserable sufferer abused the man whom he 
had bitten, reproaching him at the same 
time for his inexperience and want of skill, 
declaring that it was not the first time he 
had been broken alive on the wheel ! 

* 

• All this time every inmate of the Abbey 
was at prayers, imploring God's mercy on 






43 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



his soul ; and this was the last we heard on 

* ft 

the subject of the two criminals. 

From these sad scenes of crime and pun- 
ishment, our minds were agreeably diverted 
by the arrival of Mademoiselle des Houlieres, 
my aunt having offered her a home in the 
Abbey, and prepared a commodious apart- 
ment for her there. 

She came to us, I remember, at a moment 
when she was full of boundless admiration 
and tenderness for Madame de Montespan, 
having seen her expire a short time previ- 
ously in a state of the most edifying repent- 
ance and devotion. 

I was utterly unconscious for my part, 
that Mme. de Montespan, our relative, had 
any particular sin to repent of ; and when 
it appeared from the conversations of Mile. 
Houlieres with my aunt, that our cousin was 
mother to one of the King's sons, M. le Due 
de Maine, it was beyond my comprehension ; 
I saw clearly that I was to ask no questions, 
for they touched on the subject as though 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 49 



they were treading on hot coals — thus, my 

vexation at being unable to solve the mys- 
tery, was very great. 

Mile, des Houlieres arrived, at Montivilliers, 
from your province, where she had been 
spending some time with the unhappy Chate- 
laine de Canaples (wife of Adrian Hugues 
Je Crequy, Sire de Canaples, &c.), and as 
she had witnessed all the eccentricities of 
your poor uncle, she could hardly refrain 
from talking of them before us. (How little 
we then thought that I should marry a De 
Crequy !) 

aly imagine ; at the Chateau de Canaples, 
regular hours for meals were prohibited ; 
you might take breakfast, luncheon or re* 
freshment whenever you pleased, (provided 
you did not call it dinner or supper,) in a 
sort of refectory where the side-board was 
laid out, sometimes well, sometimes ill, with 
otter pasties made at Wrolland, and Bear 
hams from the possessions of M. de Cana- 
pies in Canada. 

He could not endure jack-spits — he called 

D 






50 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



them the invention of tradesmen and finan- 
ciers, therefore all the meat in his house was 
roasted after the fashion of the thirteenth 
Century, i.e. by means of a revolving wheel 
with open spokes, in which was imprisoned 
a large dog, who struggled in it like a fury, 
and always ended by going mad. 

You have no idea of the consumption of 
dogs that took place in that kitchen. 

The poor Countess had no one to wait on 
her but laquais or heiduques, (Hungarian foot 

soldiers), consequently she was obliged to 
dress and undress herself. 

Her husband had dismissed all the women 
servants, because he declared that it was 
ladies' maids who gave the dogs fleas ! In 
short there was no end to the account Mile, 
des Houlieres gave of the whims of this 



man. 






It was during her stay at Canaples, that 
the wild beast of Gevaudan, which had been 
tracked in blood on its road to Marvejols, 
and vainly pursued for four months, took up 
its quarters in the old Cemetery of Freschin, 



FRENCH MARCM0NESS. 51 



where it made the most disgusting havoc. 
M. de Buffon, some time afterwards, came 
to the conclusion that it was an African 
Hyaena, escaped from a travelling menagerie, 
which was at Montpellier about that period, 
but from the description of Mile, des Hou- 
lieres, who had seen it, I am convinced it 
must have been a lynx. 

This horrible animal at last devoured the 
two children of your uncle's huntsman, upon 
which, the former determined to watch for 
it in the Cemetery of Freschin, where the 
creature took refuge every night, gaining en- 
trance by springing over the walls. 

It is well known that it was this very 
Count de Canaples, who killed it with a 
spit ! 

He was anxious that Mile, des Houlieres, 
who was the tenth Muse of her day, should 
compose him a pastorale on the subject, — 
4 • and I also wish," said he "that it should 
be to the air of 



- 

" Hon aimable boscagSre 
Que faia-tu dans ces vallons ?" 

D 3 



52 RECOLLKCTIOS OP A 



Whereupon Mile, des Houlieres set herself 
to write the following famous song, consist- 
ing of two verses of eight syllables ! " When 
you have repeated them over, and over again 
to the end of each stanza/' said she merrily, 
'• you will be just as well pleased, and just 
as far advanced as though the lines were 
properly finished — now listen, mes reverendes 
meres !" 



" Elle a tant mang£ de monde 

" La bete du Gevaudan ! 

" Elle a tant mang£ de monde 

" La bete du GSvaudanJ 

" Elle a tant mang6 de monde ! " 



And then she recommenced, I know not how 
many times, always to the same air of Vaim- 

able boscagere, and until she chose to end 
the song. (You will perhaps remember in 
reading this, that Mile. Dupont your nurse 
always sang this lament to you as a lullaby, 
and sang it also in exactly the same manner.) 
Know then, my child, that this popular 
song was sister to the Nymphs of Thrace, 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 



53 



and the composition of a Daughter of 
Memory ! 

Mile, des Houlieres was good-humoured, 
and candid enough to declare that these 
two absurd lines had gained more public 
approbation and success, than any of her 
most witty, clever, or elaborate poetry. 



* JP *. 



J 



fc 






w 



• , 












- 









r 





















-i 



' 



. 









> 






» 









54 RECOLLECTIONS 07 A 









CHAPTER III. 









Practical jokes — Fatal results — Princesse de Conty 
Affectionate Greeting — A Scene — Royal Privi- 
leges — Pilgrimage to St. Michael's Mount — Dis- 
graceful Cowardice of the English — State Prison — 
The English no Claims to Norman Names— In- 
famous Conduct of a Duke of Somerset. 



An event took place about this period, not 
far from Montivilliers, the recital of which 
may perhaps be of service to you, if only to 
warn you against certain amusements some- 
times practised in the country amongst people 
of bad taste — I mean those kind of pastimes 

■ 

which consist in playing tricks and indulging 
in practical jokes. 

Monsieur M artain ville, a young lawyer of 



FREXCII MARCHIONESS. 55 



the Judicial Court of Normandy, (newly 
married) had assembled a party of about 
twenty people to spend the vacation at his 
chateau, and amongst the number were 
several officers from the neighbouring garrison. 

They bored holes in the walls and ceil- 
ings, through which they passed packthread, 
and fastened it to the curtains and counter- 
panes ; they dug holes in the ground be- 
neath the grass, in order that the cavaliers, 
and their steeds should fall in headlong — 
(which must have been a very pleasant joke 
for the cavaliers themselves!) They put 
salt in your coffee, spice in your snuff, colo- 
quintida juice on the edge of the drinking 
cups, Burgundy pitch in your shirts, and 
chopped horse-hair in your sheets ; — I leave 
you to guess if there were not frogs* and 
crawfish in every bed in the castle ! 

These jokes are essentially provincial, and 
I am told they are the first ideas that enter 
the heads of country wits ! It is impossible 
to visit newly married people, without find- 



ing oneself welcomed and assailed by all 



56 RECOLLECTIONS OF A. 



sorts of rude tricks and impertinent vul- 
garities. 

Le Martainville, and bis bride were ex- 
pecting at this time, a visit from the widow 
of Vintendant of Alenc^on, Mme. Herault de 
Sechelles, who was travelling by easy stages 
to Bareges for the benefit of the waters, and 
whom they had invited to rest a few days at 
Martainville. 

You must know that she was just reco- 
vering from an inflammation on the chest : 
that she had an income of sixty thousand 
livres, and that the Martainvilles were her 
principal heirs. She was also a very particu- 
lar old lady, sensitive and nervous to a 
degree; one of those genuine Intendante$ y 
in fact, who are worshipped by the society of 
a small town, and who never take the trouble 
even to pick up their cards at rSversis ; 
whence it was, that the Cardinal de Fleury 
used always to say to the young King, when 
he played, and made the same omission from 
thoughtlessness ; " Madame Vintendante, it is 
your turn to take up the cards " 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 57 



" Let us beg of you" exclaimed the Mar- 
tainvilles to all their flight of wild birds, " to 
play no practical jokes during the stay of our 
Aunt De Sechelles ! pray be very grave and 
quiet, Messieurs, Mesdames, and do not 
forget that we are her next heirs." 

They had turned out, I know not what 
presidente, to prepare the best room in the 
house for the illustrious invalid. 

In the apartment intended for her use 
they placed all their most luxurious furni- 
ture, all their choicest ornaments, and the 
most beautiful Dresden china that they 
possessed. 

They also took care to have a fine pullet, 
<au gros sel t stewed pigeons, a Forge monde, 
and quails, aux laitues, kept constantly hot 
and ready-dressed, in a bain-marie ; — 
besides fresh eggs in cold water, and Alicant 
wine in hot water — in short, for upwards of 
a week the kitchen and whole establishment 

i 

of the Martainvilles were under arms : and 

still Madame V intendante did not arrive. 



58 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



The family began to grow uneasy, and the 
guests impatient. 

I must tell you, that the master of the 
chateau had never seen this aunt of his wife ; 
and that since the age of five or six, the 
latter had never seen her old relative, and 
this fact appeared to them a capital oppor- 
tunity for playing off a hoax. 

Amongst the facetious circle, was a little 
M. de Clermont d'Amboise (who, by the 
way, would have been very happy, in after 
times to have married me) but the gratitude I 
owe him must not prevent my remarking to 
you, that he was an odious little, yellow, 
mean-looking man. 

It was arranged that he should be dis- 
guised as an old lady ; another officer was 
to be dressed as a lady's maid, and every pre- 
caution was taken to conceal their prepara- 



tions. 









The scheme, however, which ought only 
to have been known to two or three people, 
was betrayed by a lady's maid to a young 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 59 



puppy of the party ; the consequence was, 
ruse against ruse was devised, and it was deter- 
mined that the impostors should be themselves 
imposed upon ; in the mean time, whilst 
the second party were lying in wait to 
receive and torment the first after the most 
approved fashion, the real intendante ar- 
rived! whereupon, they rushed down upon 
her like an avalanche, tore off her flounced 
dress, her high collar, her cap, her wig, and 
in short, ill treated her so cruelly that it is 
shocking to think of ! 

The unfortunate creature was so terrified 
that she could neither scream nor utter a 
syllable, but the few words she heard re- 
vealed treachery without end ! 

" Vilaine autruche ! ennuyeuse intendante I 
vielle tante a succession ! are you going to 
drink the waters to keep your heirs longer in 
suspense 1 you shall have mineral waters 
here ! and shower-baths into the bargain !" 

And forthwith pails of water were thrown 
over her in the midst of the most fearful 
tumult ; after about a quarter of an hour of 



t 



60 HECOLLECTIONS OF A 



similar ill-usage (she, having fallen under 
the attack, lay extended on the floor of the 
hall) they observed that she gave no signs 
of life — lights were then brought, and in- 
stead of recognising little De Clermont, they 
discovered that the poor woman was nearly 
dead! 



Every one now fled from the chateau ex- 
cept her relations, who were in the greatest 
despair, for she could not look on them 
without exhibiting signs of the utmost terror 
and dislike. 

She died the third daj r , and as she had 
made no will, her fortune of course descended 
to the Martainvilles — this compromised them 

■ 

in the eyes of the public and their fellow- 
lawyers to such a degree, that a legal in- 
quiry into the shameful joke took place, and 
M. de Martainville found himself obliged in 
the end, to retire from his profession. 

As he was a man of the highest honour, 
and his wife a model of delicacy and good 
feeling, they both positively refused to 
touch any of the property of Alme. de Seychelles, 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 61 



but left it to the disposal of the collateral 
branches of their family. 

They sold, sometime afterwards, their 
beautiful manor of Martainville, and even 
changed their name, taking that of their 
barony, of De Francheville, which the family 
bear to this day. 

Madame de Maintenon has said that good 
taste always means good sense, and that is 
the moral of my story. 

About this period my aunt received a 
visit which, although it might be considered 
as an honour, was one with which she would 
willingly have dispensed, because of the 
irritable temper and habitual incivility of 
the Princess de Oonty. 

Her Serene Highness had been ordered sea 
baths, in consequence of having been bitten 
by one of her cats, which was suspected of 

hydrophobia. 

On her return to Versailles, she came to 

spend the feast of Pentecost at Montivilliers ; 

and I remember when she kissed me on the 

forehead, that she said "Bon jour cousine" 









62 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



with the same manner and tone of voice in 
which any one else would have exclaimed 
" The devil take you." 



I recollect also the scene she made during 
high mass, when the" officiating priest pre- 
sented the chalice-cover for her to kiss 
" A lions done !" she cried, rudely pushing 
away the sacred cup which the priest held in 
his hand, "ailons done ! comme vousf comme 
vous f" she repeated sharply, at which words 
our poor chaplain stood perfectly aghast. 

The Abbess, who was seated in great state 

r 

in her stall, was also visibly distressed, and 
as the scene took place at the rails of the 
altar, which separated the chancel of the 
choir from the nuns, (by which means the 
princess was on our side of the grating, and 
the priest on the other) my aunt made me a 
sign to approach and kneel at her feet, 
and, after a hurried explanation, I was sent 
to tell the priest in Latin, through the 
grating, what my aunt had said to me, which 
was, that princes and princesses of the blood 
royal of St. Louis were privileged to kiss the 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 63 



chalice-cover in the inside, like the priests, 
and not on the outside like the faithful in 
general. 

Our poor almoner was so stupified by this 
extraordinary interruption in the middle of 
the holy service of the mass, that he could not 
understand what I said, so I was obliged to 
repeat it in French. He then presented the 
inside of the chalice, and when it had been 
hastily kissed by the old princess she turned 
towards me and said aloud 

" Merci, ma petite chatte /" 

If you can find any moral in this story, 
so much the better ! 

I had better take this opportunity of tell- 
ing you of another privilege belonging to 
their most Christian Majesties when they 
receive the holy sacrament. 

The officiating priest presents, on a large 
patena, as many consecrated wafers as there 
have been Kings of France since Clovis, and 



the King selects, and points out one parti- 
cular wafer by touching it with the tip of 
his finger. 



64 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



Another custom from time immemorial is, 
to burn fire only in the censer with which 
homage is done to a King of France — but to 
the queen, or any other member of the royal 
family, perfume is put in. 

It appears that the former of these two 
customs dates from the time of Louis le 
Debonnaire, whom it was supposed was to 
have been poisoned by a holy wafer ; as for 
the latter, it is generally attributed to the 
aversion Phillippe le Bel had to the smell 
and smoke of incense, which always made 
him faint ' 

But you must now hear the account of our 
pilgrimage to St. Michael's Mount. 

The Abbess of Montivilliers, by virtue of 
her office, had an obligation to fulfil in exe- 
cution of a vow made by one of her prede- 
cessors, Agnes of Normandy, aunt of Wil- 
liam the Conqueror, and this consisted in 
once visiting the Church of St. Michael's 
Mount in periculo maris. 

This Abbey of St. Michael was of the 
same order, and congregation as that of Mon- 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 65 



tivilliers. The two monasteries had each 
been richly endowed by the ancestors of this 
Princess Agnes, particularly by William 
Longue-Epee, Duke of Normandy. 

The Abbot of St. Michael, and the Abbess 
of Montivilliers were perpetual proto-custodes 
of the order of St. Michael, and to this day 
they possess the same collars which their pre- 
decessors received from Louis XI ; the Abbot, 
moreover, is conseiller-ne to the Abbey ot 
Montivilliers, the latter having the arms of 
that brotherhood quartered with her own, in 
token of alliance, a circumstance which 
gave rise to a constant series of innocent 
jests, whilst at the same time, it made a sort 
of fraternal union between the two Abbeys, 
each being termed by the other " insigne et 
venerable sceur." 

An old coach was patched up for our 
journey in which the defunct Abbess Madame 
de Gonzague, had made the same pilgrimage, 
which, in her case, lasted an immense time, 
for she took advantage of the opportunity 
of going on to Paris to see her aunt the Pala- 



66 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



tine,"* and to visit another aunt, the Queen 
Dowager of Poland, f who lived at Cracow. 

She had imagined that her journey to Po- 
land would have been but an affair of twelve 
or fifteen days, but as she would only sleep 
in Benedictine Convents, and journeyed from 
one to another starting from her own old 
Nunnery of Notre Dame de Montmartre, she 
was four months going, and four months 
returning ! The best of it was, that nothing 
would induce her to remain more than eight- 
and-forty hours with her aunt when she got 
there, because she said she had business of 
importance at Montivilliers. 

All these Princesses of the House of Nevers 
were strange beings. 









* Anne de Gonzague de Mantone de Montferrat de 
Cleves et de Nevers, wife of Edward de Baviere, 
Prince Palatin of the Rhine, died in 1684. She 
was celebrated for her wit, and her intrigues in the 
time of la Fronde, 






t Louise-Marie de Gonzague, daughter of Charles 
de Gonzague, Due de Nevers, and afterwards Due de 
Mantone. She married in 1645 Ladislas Jagellon 
King of Poland, and secondly in 1649 King Jean- 
Casimir Jagellon, Brother of her first husband. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 67 



She afterwards told her Nuns at Montivil- 
liers, that whilst partaking of the hospitality 
of a Convent in the Austrian States, she met 
there two merry Princess- Abbesses, who took 
her to the theatre, an act not prohibited in 
that Country. It so happened that two Xor- 
man Nuns who attended her as acolytes, and 
who had never seen anything more imposing 

than the High Altar on the occasion of the 
Fete Dieu were so utterly overcome by their 
feelings on witnessing the glory of the opera 
that on entering the Box, they immediately 
fell on their knees. 

One of these good old ladies was still living 
during my residence at Montivilliers. I re- 
collect that she was of the House of Mathan, 
one of the most ancient, and noble families 
of the Duchy of Normandy. 

Of all that she had seen in her travels, 
that which had made the strongest impres- 
sion on her was the fact of her having obser- 
ved on the sign of an Inn, a coat of arms 
very similar to her own ; in time she became 

resigned to this indignity, but it was not 



68 RECOLLECTIONS OJf A 



' I 



without much difficulty that she was enabled 

to lay at the foot of the cross, so great a 
mortification. 

On arriving at the lands of the Barony of 
Genest, which belong to the Monks of St. 
Michael, we found an envoy sent from these 
reverend Fathers to wait upon their " insigne 
et venerable sceur" of Montivilliers, to whom 
he did not fail to point out certain forms* 
which he considered indispensable to the re- 
gularity of her pilgrimage. 

From this point the Lady Abbess, and 
her two assistantes were to preserve a rigid 
silence (anything but agreeable to me), and 
as soon as we reached the shore beyond a 
little town called Pontorson, and at that 
part of the coast nearest St. Michael's Mount, 
my aunt alighted from her great coach in 
order to finish the remainder of the journey 
on foot. 

We walked I think for nearly an hour over 
a firm and sandy beach, covered with shells, 
having on the right, the green and woody j 
coast of Normandy, — on the left the sea of 












FRExNCH MARCHIONESS, 69 



Brittany, serene and blue as the sky ; and 
before us, an immense pyramidal rock, the 
base of which is surrounded by high em- 
battled walls, with turrets abutting there- 
from. 

The flanks of the wall were studded with 
little gothic edifices intermingled with pines, 

fig-trees, ivy and oaks — the summit is 
crowned by a mass of buildings, strongly 
built, and the whole surmounted by an im- 
posing looking basilisk with its bell and 

pointed belfry. 

The pinnacle is so richly wrought, yet so 
light withal, that it is matchless, and on the 
apex stands the great gilt figure of the 
Archangel Michael, which turns on a pivot 
according to the direction of the wind. 

They told us that the evolutions of this 
figure, whose flaming sword seems to defy 
the lightning and scatter ^ the thunderbolts, 
were something extraordinary during the 

storms of this tempestuous climate. They 
next showed us a m.s. of a prophecy of the 
Abbot Richard de Toustain who predicted 






70 RECOLLICTIONS OF A 



the ruin of his Abbey when this same statue 
should be overthrown.* 

I left the good sisters to their litanies 
whilst I picked up shells, and little stones 
radiant with a thousand bright colours ; I 
learnt, long after that, that these were frag- 
ments of porphyry, jaspar, Egyptian ser- 
pentine, agate, and other oriental materials 
which had been deposited on these shores of 
Armorica by the violence of the waves. 

At the foot of the ramparts we were shown 
two great cannons embedded in the sand, 
formed of bars of iron bound round by iron 
hoops ; these, it was said, had been dis- 
gracefully abandoned by the English in their 
last attempt upon St. Michael's Mount. 

It is to be observed, to the honor of the 
order of St. Benoit, that these enemies of 
France have always failed in the same under- 



taking, which is # easily explained by the 



* This statue, which dated from the 12th Century 
and which had been erected by the Abbe Rainulfe, 
de Villedieu, was dashed to atoms by lightning in 
the year 1788. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS, 71 



courage and fidelity of the besieged when 
the strand is dry, for at high water it is ab- 
solutely impossible to approach the Mount. 

Not far from the convent where we lodged, 
was the state prison, which contained only 
two prisoners, one of whom was the Chevalier 
d' 0., who was there on suspicion of having 
killed his niece by stabbing her with a sword. 
(He was said to be half mad, but the Prior 
charitably remarked that, " that was unfair 
towards the other half !)" 

I think I recollect that the other captive 
was a Canon of Bayeux, who could not keep 
his hands from coining ; it was a sort of 
mania — a ruling passion with him. I re- 
member too, quite well, the place where the 
Dutch gazetier was confined, but I never 
could understand how Mile, de Sillery * 
could have the face to publish, forty years 
afterwards, that it was an iron cage, and that 



* The Comtesse de Genlis, then Mademoiselle de 
Sillery. 



t 



72 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



it had been destroyed by his pupil, the Due 
de Chartres. f 

It was a large room, of which the floor 
above was supported by rafters, and I do 



not see how the Due de Chartres could de- 
stroy the room without bringing that floor 
about his ears. It was quite right and 
proper to sound the praises of a French 
prince, but at the same time truth only 
should be spoken. 

Mile de Sillery had no scruples on this 
score, because she had to do with readers 
who had nothing to say in reply, from the 
fact of people knowing no more of the 
Abbey of St. Michael than they did of the 
Church of Bron-les-Bourg at Bresse, or the 
royal chateau of Chambord, which are 









t Louis Philippe D'Orleans, eleventh of the name 
Due D'Orleans, de Valois, de Chartres and de Mont 
pensier, premier prince of the blood royal and Peer 
of France. He was then Due de Chartres — now 
Lieutenant General of the Kingdom under the title 
of King of the French. 28th September 1853. 
(Note of the French Editor. J 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 73 



nevertheless three of the greatest curiosities 
in the kingdom ; St. Michael's Mount defies 
description. 

Twenty years afterwards I revisited it 
with M. de Crequy your grandfather, when 
he was Inspector General of the coasts of 
Brittany and Normandy. 

The Abbey Church is a fine edifice of the 
12th century. The High Altar, which is 

raised above the shrine of St. Paternus, 

Bishop ol Avranches, is entirely covered with 

massive silver, as well as the tabernacle and 

steps, which support a fine enamelled figure 

of the Destroying Angel. 

Beuvenuto Cellini never produced any- 
thing more brilliant, or more poetically 
fantastic and delicately chiselled than the 
body of the dragon, which is uncoiled and 
struggling beneath the feet of the arch- 
angel. 

At the spring of the roof about the choir, 
you see emblazoned coats of arms, with the 
names of those Norman gentlemen who 

E 



74 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



fought with William the Conqueror in the 
years 1066 and 1067. 

It is easy to prove, that of these ancient 
families, none now exist in England. They 

made mysterious mention to us there, of a 
singular piece of corruption attempted by a 

Duke of Somerset, with the design of adding 
to those names, that of Seymour or St. 
Maur, which he asserted had been the 
primitive patronymic of his family, and 
which he wished to see figure amongst the 
companions of William the Conqueror in 
order to make good his pretensions. 

Such a proposal as this was received as it 
deserved to be, and you may imagine that 



the expences incurred by the Sej 



this embassy to St. Michael's Mount were not 

inconsiderable. 

None but the grandson of an upstartr 

pedant, such as the preceptor of Edward the 

Sixth, could imagine that a fake inscription 

could be bought for money, from a Catholic 

clergy, from French gentlemen, in a church 

and within the sanctuary of a Royal Abbey ! 



FftEXCH MARCHIONESS. 



75 



CHAPTER IV. 



A lucky misfortune — Death of the Authoress's 
Brother — Court mourning — Journey to Paris 
The Comte de Froulay — Hotel de Breteuil — Its 
inmates — Their peculiarities — The lovely Emilie 
Voltaire — Nebuchadnezzar and Prince Cherry 
The Commandeur — Lady Laura de Breteuil — A 
rarity, a British Peeress with good manners ! 
Aversion of the Authoress to the Prince of Orange 
— Another De Breteuil. 












- 






Misfortunes are not unfrequently produc- 
tive of happiness in the end, for in conse- 

A 1 

quence of the loss of my brother, I married 
M. de Crequy, with whom I passed thirty 
years of cloudless and unequalled bliss. 
Had I not become a great heiress, this mar- 

E 3 



76 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



ria^e would certainly never have taken 
place, for all your paternal estates were 
encumbered with mortgages ; your grand- 
father would have been obliged to have 
formed some mere mercenary match, a cir- 
cumstance unprecedented in your family, 
and the idea of which might probably have 
determined him not to marry at all. 

To return to my brother, he died of 
small-pox whilst with the army of the 
Marechal de Villars, where he commanded 
my father's old regiment, the Royal Com- 
tois. His death occurred I think, at the 






commencement of the year 1713, and my 
Aunt de Montivilliers, out of consideration 

r 

for my youth and knowing the love I bore 
my brother, prepared me gradually for the 
sad news. 

She continued this caution for four or 
five months, and the effect to me was as 
though I were witnessing his slow decline 
in some protracted illness ; I wore deep 

- 

mourning all the time without guessing at 
the real state of the case, because at the 



FRENCH MARCUI05£SS. 77 






same period we were wearing parent's 
mourning for the Marechale de Tesse, her 
husband being- the head of our house. 

All people of rank assume parent's 
mourning on the death of the head of their 
family, although they might have been but 
20th cousins ; it was a kind of deference 
which bore high testimony to the dignity 
of descent, and a display of Salic law which 
parvenus dared not ape. That is the rea- 
son I have always regretted and disapproved 
of this custom not being as general and as 
rigorously observed as it used to be. 

It is pretty well known that it was the 
Duchesse de Berry, daughter of the Regent, 
who shortened the duration of all possible 
mournings to one half, but I can assure you 
that with the exception of the Courtiers of 
the Palais Royal, and the intimates of the 
Luxembourg, where this unworthy princess 
resided, no one would adopt so impertinent 
an innovation ; it is also to be remarked, 
that since her introduction amongst the 
Colombats, neither the nobility of Artois 



78 RECOLLECTION* 3 OP A 



of Britany, of Burgundy, Languedoc, nor 
Dauphiny, have ever chosen to conform to 
this whim of the Duchesse de Berry. 

Towards the end of November 1713, my 
aunt told me with an air of mystery which 
set me thinking, that I was going to pass 
the winter at Paris, but that I should re- 
turn to the Abbey as soon as I had made 
the acquaintance of my grand-mother de 
Froulay. 

I cried a great deal at the separation 
that was the least of the evils — and I set 
off with my maid in a chaise de poste, 
driven by two postillions which my father 
had dispatched from Paris to bring me.^ We 
arrived after six days travelling, and I 
alighted at the Hotel de Froulay, Rue St. 
Dominique, where I beheld my father for 
the first time, but he received me as though 
we had only parted the day before. I 

His personal appearance was most pre- 
possessing, and his manners easy and 
elegant ; he told me that he should take 
me to live with my aunt, the Baronne de 



FRENCH MAKCHIQNESS. 79 



Breteuil, because the Marquise de Froulay 
my grand-mother, passed the greater part 
of her time on the road between Paris and 
Versailles ; he added that she would be 
good enough to present me in certain houses, 
and concluded by enjoining me to be most 
careful how I behaved before the De Bre- 
teuils, as the family were exceedingly par- 
ticular on all points relating to etiquette. 

My father ordered me a panade aux con- 
fotures, and we then started for the Hotel 
de Breteuil, which faced, and still faces, 
the garden of the Tuileries, a situation 
which struck me as so enchanting that I 
burst out into exclamations of pleasure, 
eliciting thereby the remark, that I was 
" as natural as it was possible to be !" 

his pretty house contains only, as you 
know, from seven to eight rooms on each 

floor, but they are all decorated and gilt 
with wondrous richness ; and the apartments 
allotted to the different members of the 
Breteuil family in the following manner ; 



1 









The Marquise de Breteuil-Sainte-Croix 






80 RECOLLECTIOKS OF A 



occupied the ground floor, of which she re- 
served two or three rooms for her mother, 
the Marechale de Thomond, who was lady 
in waiting to the Queen of England, and 
eldest sister of the Marechale de Berwyck.* 
The mother and daughter had magnificent 
apartments in the new chateau of St. Ger- 
mains ; and those which they had at the 
Hotel de Breteuil were considered only as a 
sort of roost for them in Paris. 

My Aunt, the Baronne de Breteuil-Preuilly, 
inhabited the first story of the Hotel with 
her husband, whose library engrossed three 
rooms ; the second was occupied only by the 






* Wife of James Fitz-James, Duke of Berwick 
who was a natural son of the Duke of York, after- 
wards James the Second, by Arabella Churchill, 
sister of the Duke of Marlborough, born 1670. He 
became a French subject by naturalization. He had 
commanded the armies of three of the most powerful 
Monarchs of Europe, viz., the Kings of France, Spain, 
and England ; and was invested with the first dig- 
nities of those kingdoms. He was killed at the 
siege of Phillipsbourg, in 1734. The Marshall had 
married, first, a daughter of the house of Clanricarde, 
of the house of Burke, in Ireland ; and, secondly, a 
lady of the name of Bulkeley, by whom he had the 
first Marshal Fitz-James. — Vide Biographic Unir 
verselle. (Translator's Note.) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 81 



Countess dowager de Breteuil-Charmeuax^ 

my other aunt, who was eldest sister of the 

Baronne, and a de Froulay by birth, as well 

as her sister and myself. She would never 

share her fine rooms with any one, and 

thought the De Breteuils did not do half 

enough for her. 

The third floor was tenanted by the Com- 

mandeur de Breteuil-Chantecier, and he re- 
ceived the Bishop of Rennes (Messire A uguste 
de Breteuil-Conty) whenever that worthy 
prelate fancied he had business in Paris, 
which was pretty often. 

Last of all, the five children of my aunt 
occupied the fourth story ; and my cousin, 
Emilic, who became afterwards, Marquise du 
Chatelet, was obliged to give up her room 
facing the Tuileries, to me. They banished 
her, in consequence, to three little rooms, 
opening upon the cul-de-sac Dauphin, for 
which (be it said, en oassant) she never 



forgave me. 

You perceive that I was now transplanted 
into the midst of the de Breteuil family ; 

E 5 



82 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



and whenever the advice of my father oc- 
curred to my mind, I felt as if I were in a 
bed of thorns : however, I so carefully ob- 
served every point of etiquette, that, in time, 
habit became a second nature to me, and I 
insensibly acquired the good custom of never • 
making remarks about people of inferior 
rank, without first looking round as one 
would do in the presence of red-heads and 
hunchbacks. 

M. de Breteuil was an old robin who sspoke 
of nothing but his father, the Controller- 
geneial, to whom one had always to say 
" M onseigneur" this, and " Monseigneur" that, 
in fact, he never opened his mouth but a 
" M onseigneur" was sure to drop out of it. 

The elder of my aunts, Marie Therese de 
Froulay, was an arrogant old dowager, proud, 
exacting, and self-sufficient, to a degree. 
Although she affected sovereign contempt for 
the pomp which surrounded us at the Hotel 
de Breteuil, it did not prevent her from 
never stirring except in a coach-and-six, 
with a yeoman-pricker and four lacqueys in 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. S3 



state liveries. The Baron used to say, that 
the equipage of his sister-in-law was like a 
pageant on a fete day ; nevertheless, to the 
36000 frs., which he had to pay her for 
dowry and jointure, he regularly added 
24,000 as a present from himself. 

She had seven ladv's maids, of whom one 
or two sat up with her all night, to protect 
her from ghosts and apparitions ; of all the 
cowards I ever knew she was certainly the 

greatest. Nothing would induce her to re- 
main alone in her sister's dressing room, 
because there was a tiger's skin on the floor, 
of which she stood in mortal terror. 

All the said Countess de Breteuil ate for 

breakfast and dinner was a panade d 1 orgeat, 
and she never supped at home, consequently 
she had more money than she knew what to 
do with ; but this was no consolation to her 
whilst she could not pay her Court at Ver- 
sailles, and so, in the i^rty -third year of her 
age she ended by marrying the old Marquis 
de la Vieuville, thereby gaining the entree, 









84 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



as he had once been gentleman of the cham- 
ber to'the late Queen Marie Therese. 

This, she told me, decided her at once* 
but I fancy the 100,000 ecus a year of the 
old Marquis had also their weight in the 
scale. She was, without exception, the 
coldest-hearted, and the vainest woman I 

- 

ever encountered, without a single idea in 
her whole head. 

Aiy cousin Einilie, (who was then called 
Mile, de Preuilly, and not Mile, de Breteuil, 
in order to distinguish her from her cousin- 
german, since become Mme. de Clermont- 
Tonnerre) was my junior by three or four 
months, but she was at least five or six 
inches taller than myself. Her friend Vol- 
taire published her birth in 1706, to make 
her out four years younger, but she was in 
reality born on the seventeenth of December 
1702, a fact easily proved by referring to 
the vestry of St. Roch. 

She was a Colossus in every respect 
wonderfully strong, and prodigiously awk- 
ward. Her hands, and feet were of the most 
formidable dimensions, and her skin like a 



PEE::CH MARCHIONESS. 85 



nutmeg-grater ; in short the lovely Emilie 
was coarseness personified, and because Vol- 
taire had assurance enough to speak of her 
beauty, she thought it necessary to rave of 
algebra, and geometry. 

The most unbearable part of her charac- 
ter was her pedantry, and she was always 
pluming herself on her superiority of intel- 
lect, whilst, on the contrary, her memory 
was most defective, and her mind one 
hodge-podge of confused ideas. 

For instance, she asked us one night 
with the half innocent, half thoughtful air 
she generally assumed, " which we believed 
most X that Nebuchadnezzar was changed 
iuto a bull, or that Prince Cherry was 
metamorphosed into a bird V 

" Neither one nor the other," answered 
her mother. 






" But I saw it in the bible." 

" You never saw anything of the kind," 
said my aunt, who lost no opportunity of 
openly reproving her ; . '* go and find the 



■ 






86 RECOLLEC.IO.XS OF A 



bible where you made such interesting dis- 



coveries." 



" The same hour was the thing fulfilled 
" upon Nebuchadnezzar, and he was driven 
" from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and 
" his body was wet with the dew of Hea- 
" ven, till his hairs were grown like eagle's 
" feathers, and his nails like bird's claws." 

" Where do you read that he was changed 
into a beast of the field ? He went mad 
without doubt, but there is no mention of 
his turning into a bull ; such an idea is 
only worthy of a scullery-maid !" 

That was the way the learned Emilie 
studied, and such was the use she made 
of her knowledge. 

I can understand how Voltaire might 
have had a fancy for passing her off as a 
savante, but how M. Clairaut, who was a 
grave and austere man, could be equally 
complaisant, surpasses my comprehension. 

We always thought she must have bribed 
him, and we never heard of the genius and 






FKKNCH MARCHIONESS. 87 



profound learning of Madame du Chatelet 
without bursting into fits of laughter, 
which used greatly to annoy Voltaire. 

Of the Commandeur de Breteuil, and the 
Bishop of Rennes, grand master of the royal 
chapel, I shall have little to tell you, except 
that the latter was nothing but a mitred 
goose. It pleased the other to be always in a 
state of profound melancholy, but he was 
mild in his manners, and indulgent to his 
dependants, excepting only his pursebearer, 
whose duties he rigorously supervised. 

He was a sort of enigma to his family, 
and friends, and whenever he left the Hotel 
de Breteuil on foot they ran to the windows 
to see him pass by, for every one regarded 
him with unaccountable curiosity, not un- 
mixed with awe. 

The Commandeur had a casket full of papers 
which, on the eighteenth of April 1714, he 
addressed to the King Louis the fourteenth : 
he accompanied the valet who had charge 
of them, to Versailles, but returned to 
Paris by himself, and on the twentieth of the 



88 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



same month was found dead in his bed. The 
night before he had burnt a great number 
of letters, as well as a portrait of Monsieur 
the King's brother, the ashes of which were 
found in his fire place. 

When Madame (Henrietta of England) died, 
rumours of all kinds were afloat ; much was 
also said on the decease of the Commandeur 
de Breteuil, and of the circumstances which 
preceded it, but the probability is, he died 
a natural death. 

I remember Mme. de Maintenon wrote a 
very pretty note on the melancholy occasion. 

Lady Laura de Breteuil, otherwise called 
the Marquise de Sainte Croix, was a British 
peeress, perfectly polished in her manners, 
although of high birth ; two things of rare 
occurrence in that country ; but there was 
something constrained about her, and she 
seemed always ill at ease, and continually 
wishing to thrust upon us her pretensions 
to the royal tribe of the O'Bryens, and the 
Princes of Thomond, whose heiress she 



was. 












FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 89 



I 

Her father, who became a Marshal of 
France, and her mother, who was control- 
ler of the household to the English Court 
at St. Germains, were two red-hot Jacobites, 
and both remarkably bad-tempered emi- 
grants. 

Once in her life, the Marechale de Tho- 
mond told me an amusing anecdote : At the 
moment she was about to embark in the 
suite of the unfortunate Queen of England, 
(Marie de Modena), she promised an old 
aunt whom she left in Ireland, a certain 
Lady Stuart, to write her all the news 
about her cousin, King James, and to de- 
tail the manner in which the Stuarls were 
received at Versailles.* 5 ' 5, 

She however contented herself with 
merely sending her a leaf out of her prayer 



* Louis the Fourteenth did not fail to receive his 
guests in a very splendid manner ; the Palace of 
St. Germains, magnificently fitted up, was assigned 
to James and his Queen, with 50,000 crowns by 
way of outfit, and a further monthly allowance of 
50,000 francs. — Vide Klose's Memoirs of Prince 
Charles Stuart. 



90 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



book : containing the beginning of the 
Psalm, " The Lord said unto my Lord, sit 
thou on my right hand, until I make thine 
enemies my footstool." 

Nothing could be more applicable than 

the beginning of this verse — would to God 
that its conclusion were realized as far as 
that abominable stadtholder William were 
concerned ! Ever since I was an infant, I 
have held him in execration, and felt for 
him a patriotic hatred which will never be 
effaced . 

I know not whether I have dreamt it, 
but my impression is, that the Marechal de 
Thomond and his wife, who were then always 
called Lord and Lady O'Bryeu de Clare,* 
had another daughter married to the Due 
de Praslin. 

Before I have done with the De Breteuils 
and their relations, I have yet to tell you 



* Lord Clare raised and commanded a regiment of 
the Irish Brigade in the service of France. He fell 
mortally wounded at the Battle of Ramillies. 
(Translator's Note.) Vide, Military History of 
the Irish Nation, by the late Mathew (/Conor Etq. 

Dublin; 1845. 



FREKCH MARCI1I0.VESS. 91 



of another member of the family, the most 
sensible, the best informed, the most affection- 
ate of them all. I never knew so loveable 

and interesting a woman, and therefore I 
have reserved her to the last, for a bonne- 
bouche as it were. 

Gabrielle Anne de Froulay, Baroune de 
Breteuil and de Preuilly was renowned for 
her great beauty. She was one of those 
striking sort of persons that one 9ees but 
once, and that, with the impression that 
one shall never see their like again. Her 
complexion was perfectly extraordinary, so 
natural and so fresh ; her hair was coal 
black, her eyebrows dark, and her eyes the 
leepest grey, but soft in expression and full 



< 



of intelligence. 



She was naturally serious, and I do not 
think any one ever saw her smile except out 
of complaisance, or from tenderness when 
she beheld her children, who were the sweet- 
est creatures possible, (always excepting the 
awkward Emilie). 

My dear good aunt was very superstitious 



92 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



on the score of pressentimens, and when her 
children were the object of them, any op- 
position to the steps which she might think 
it necessary, in consequence, to take, would 
excite her anger until, mild and submissive 
as she generally was, she would denounce 
her husband as the incarnation of all that 
was despotic. 

" Do you think, sir, that the mother of 

* 

your children has less natural instinct and 
foresight than the mother of your chickens \ 
is it necessary for you to have spied the 
hawk before the hen is permitted to alarm 

herself about the safety of her brood V 

The earnestness of ber manner if not the 
justice of the comparison, used to act like 
magic, and her husband would reply in the 
most resigned manner, 

" Pray go, madame, go and establish your- 
self close to the college of La Fleche, since 
you have been warned in a dream that your 
son is about to be seized with convulsions." 

For this once, however, my aunt had 
made a good guess, and eight days after- 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 93 



wards we saw her return with her second 
son, whom she had snatched from college, 
and from the jaws of death, by making him 
swallow draughts of lettuce juice, the first 
time such a remedy was ever heard of for 
convulsions. 

The little cousin of whom I am now 
speaking, was the father of the Baron de 
Breteuil, the present Home Minister. His 
only daughter married the Comte Goyon de 
Matignon, and the issue of their marriage 
was also an only daughter, married to the 
eldest son of the Due de Montmorency. 

Should we have the misfortune to lose you, 
Madame de Montmorency will become my 
heiress, a piece of good fortune to which I 
do not devoutly desire she should attain !* 



* The grandson and the son of the Author died 
before the Baron de Breteuil, the grandfather of 
Madame la Duchesse de Montmorency, who conse- 
quently, in the year 1833 inherited all the posses- 
sions of Madame de Cr6quy, in which year occurred 
also, the death of Madame de Matignon, her 
mother. — {Note of French Editor.) 



94 RECOLLECTIOKS OF A 









CHAPTER V. 



Useful Manual ! — M. de Fontenelle — Amusing scene 
at La Fontaine's death — Marquis de Dangeau — 
Duke de St. Simon — Jean Baptiste Rousseau 
— Milord George Keith D'Athry, Marischal of 
Scotland — Confessions — The Dowager Marquise 
de Froulay — MarSchal de Tess6 — St. Cyr — Louis 
the Fourteenth — Madame de Maintenon — The 
Chapel — Messieurs les Anglais no right to " God 
save the King !" 















My auut found me tolerably well-informed, 
but her experience taught her, that life in a 
Convent was scarcely the school for the 
world. 






You will see that Madame de Breteuil 
was a most scientifically-polished person ; 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 95 



— 

much to my surprise, for she only quitted 
the Convent of St. Madeleine-en-Dunois to 
marry a husband whose rank and profes- 
sion did not admit of his breathing the 
courtly air of Versailles. 

She began by making me read " La Civi- 

lite puerile et honne'te" a book published 
years ago at Poitiers, and full of fooleries. 

For instance, it enjoined one to be care- 
ful not to spit in one's neighbour's pocket ;' 
that at dinner it is not correct to blow one's 
nos^ on the table napkin ; neither ought 
the hair to be combed in church, but above 
all, one was to guard against making the 
sign of the cross behind the back, because 
it was an act of incivility to the Holy 
Sacrament! " You must know," said she, 
" that the dandies of the time of the late 
King Louis XIII, wore their hair long, and 
were in the habit of carrying combs in their 
pockets, a custom which old people have not 
yet abandoned, and as to using table-napkins 
as pocket-handkerchiefs, it is much to be 



96 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



* 

wished that certain provincial gentlemen, 
beginning with the Count and Chevalier de 
Montesquiou would take this advice into 
consideration, for he does not even spare the 
table cloth !" 

In other respects her instructions were 
perfectly devoid of frivolity, and without 
any pretension to pedantry, consequently I 
listened to her with pleasure and confidence. 

I have now survived this wise and excel- 
lent woman seventy-five years, and never 
have I had reason to alter my opinion of 
anything she taught me. 

The domestic circle at the Hotel deBreteuil, 
comprised at the utmost, twenty intimates, 
who had covers laid for them at the supper 
table every day according to the fashion of 
the times, and the hospitality of that rich 
and liberal house. 

To give you a complete idea of the extent 
of the establishment, it is sufficient to men- 
tion that in Paris alone, my aunt and uncle 
had forty-four servants. Monsieur de Fonte- 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 97 



nelle* used to sup there regularly every 
Thursday ; he was then about forty-five 
vears of age but no one would have taken 
him for more than six-and-thirty. He was 
a handsome man of five*feet eight, with fine 
regular features ; his address pleasing, and 
his manners gentle and agreeable. He had 
withal, a gay and open expression of counte- 
nance, and though he had contracted a habit 
of stooping, still was he most graceful in all 
his movements ; in fact he was a person 
quite out of the common way. 

Fontenelle was benevolence and charity 
llself ; he gave away about a quarter of his 
income every year to the poor of the parish, 
and I cannot understand how he could ever 
have been accused of egotism and want of 
ieeling. 






* Bernard le Borier, Ecuyer, Sieur de Fontenelle, 
perpetual Secretary of the Academie Roy ale des Sci- 
ences, died in Paris in 1757 aged one hundred all but 
three months. He was the nephew of Pierre Cor- 
neille, and distantly related to Mile. Scudery.— (Note 
by the Author.) 

F 



98 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



I have heard him speak of that ridiculous 
story of the asparagus dressed in oil* but 
as having happened to some doctor of the 
Sorbonne, whilst Voltaire, forty or fifty years 
afterwards, was spiteful enough to republish 
it, making Fontenelle the hero. 

■ 

" How can they accuse you of want of 
feeling my dear and good Fontenelle V said 
my aunt one day. 



* Fontenelle, it seems, had a great liking for this 
vegetable, and preferred it dressed with oil. One 
day a certain bon-vivant Abbe with whom he was 
extremely intimate, came unexpectedly to dinner ; 
the Abbi was very fond of asparagus also, but liked 
his dressed with butter. Fontenelle said that for 
such a friend there was no sacrifice of which he did 
not feel himself capable, and that he should have 
half the dish of asparagus which he had just ordered 
for himself, and that half, moreover, should be done 
with butter. While they were conversing away 
very lovingly and waiting for dinner, the poor Abbe 
falls suddenly down in a fit of apoplexy, upon which 
Fontenelle instantly springs up, scampers down to 
the kitchen with incredible agility, and bawls out 
to his cook with eagerness : — " The whole with oil ! 
the whole with oil, as at first!" — Review of Gri- 
miris Correspondence. Edinburgh Review for Sep- 
t ember 1814. 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 99 



" Because," he replied with a smile, " I 

am not yet dead !" 

He held strawberries in high estimation, 

and had great reliance on their sanatory 
qualities. He was attacked regularly every 
year of his life with fever, " but" he would 
exclaim " if I can only last till the straw- 
berries come in !" This he was fortunate 
enough to do ninety-nine times, and he at- 
tributed his longevity entirely to the use of 
strawberries ! 

I could tell you a thousand amusing stories 
of Fontenelle, but they have been already 
related, and I shall always endeavour to 
write only of what you could not read else- 
where. 

I will merely relate to you one more 



anecdote, often repeated by Voltaire, and 



also told by Fontenelle, (an authority which 
has a different kind of weight with me to 
Voltaire's) ; La Fontaine was very ill, and 
had just received the last sacraments ; he 
asked his old friend, Madame Cornuel (of 
whom Madame de Sevigne speaks) if it 

f 3 



TOO RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



would not be quite the proper thing for him 
to be carried on a truck in his shirt and 
barefooted, with a rope round his neck, to 

* 

the gate of Notre-Dame, where he would be 
supposed to be making an " amende honor- 
able" for all he had written and said ! 

" Only," he continued, " you must find 
some one to hold up my taper, for I should 
never have strength to carry it, and I should 

i 

much like to employ one of those smart 
lacqueys of our neighbour the President de 

Nicolay." 

" Hold your tongue and die quietly, my 
good man," was all the answer he got from 
old Cornuel ; " you have always been a 

* 

great goose." 

" That is very true/' replied La Fontaine, 
" and it is very lucky for me, as I hope 
that God will take pity on me on that ac- 
count ; mind you tell every one that I sin- 
ned from folly and not wickedness — that 
would sound much better ; would it not f 

" I wish you would let me alone, and die 
in peace !" exclaimed the other. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 101 



The Chevalier de la Sabliere told Fonte- 
nelle, that La Fontaine's confessor and all 
who were present, ended by laughing out- 
right, and the last words of the good man 
were these : " Je vols bien que je suis devenu 
plus bete que le bon Dieu riest saint, et c'est 
beaucoup dire en verite !" 

The Marquis de Dangeau used to come 
and sleep sometimes at the Hotel de Breteuil, 
but he was always wrapt in such impenetrable 
folds of decorum, that I am really at a loss 
what to tell you about him, except that, 
to me, he was the most annoying person in 
the world, and I was always in alarm lest I 
should say or do something of which he 
would disapprove. 

It was said at the time that he was 
writing his memoirs, and when at last they 
appeared, they did not strike me as being 
either more interesting or less insignificant 
than their author. 

The old Due de St. Simon, who used only to 
pay us visits, and never supped from home 
lest he should have to entertain in return. 



102 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



was also fabricating memoirs. I say fabri- 
cating, because I have heard him protest in 
my presence, more than a hundred times, 

that none of the circumstances therein de- 
tailed, ever happened to him ! You may 
therefore judge of the estimation in which 
I held his veracity. He was a miserable, 
sick creature, dried up with envy, devoured 
by vain ambition and always harping upon 
his ducal coronet. Jean Baptiste Rousseau 
used to compare his eyes to " two coals set 
in an omelette," and trifling as the simile 
seems, it is not the less true. 

Jean Baptiste Rousseau, who had the face 
of a Silenus, and the figure of a rustic, 
came sometimes to dine at the Hotel de 
Breteuil, but not to sup, as that would not 

have been de convenance. We were en- 
chanted with his odes, and my uncle allowed 

him a pension of 600 livres, which our 
cousins continued to him in Flanders after 
his exile and lawsuit, in which Saurin be- 
haved most unworthily. 



. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. J 03 



Milord Marechal,* why should I not speak 
to you of Milord Marechal \ since every 
one who tells you of the affection with 
which he inspired me, will also be obliged 
to allow that we conducted ourselves with 
perfect propriety towards each other. Milord 
Marechal — (I shall never be able to write 
that name without emotion !) was, when I 



George, Ninth, Earl of Keith ; he was at- 
tainted for the part he took in the Rebellion of 
1715, and obliged to leave his native country ; the 
Author of these Memoirs has not overdrawn his 
picture, all cotemporary writers agreeing that he 
was a most interesting character. Rousseau, in his 
"Confessions," (Vol. iii, Livre x\\.) speaks of him in 
the most affectionate terms. Lord Mahon, in his 
u History of Europe," publishes a curious letter 
from Lord Keith to Prince James, reproaching the 
Pretender, apparently, with justice. He writes, 

" My health and my heart are broke by age and 
<c crosses. I resolve to retire from the world and 
"from all affairs? 

He withdrew to the Court of Prussia, and was 
honoured with the friendship of the King, who con- 
ferred upon him the insignia of the Black Eagle, 
sent him Ambassador to France, and afterwards ap- 
pointed him Governor of Neufchatel. He was 
descended from that Sir John Keith (third son of 
William Earl Marischal) who preserved the Regalia 
of Scotland from falling into the hands of Oliver 



104 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



saw him at ray uncle's, a handsome Scotch- 
man, twenty-four years of age, intelligent, 
sensible and grave. He came from England 
on a mission from the English Jacobites to 
the refugees, and he had political audiences 
at the Hotel de Breteuil, where he used to 
meet his uncles the Dukes of Perth * and 
Melfort. 

If you wish to have an idea of his per- 
sonal appearance, you must look at that 



Cromwell by depositing it underground in the 
church of King-Kenneth, (commonly called Kineff) 
for which services, and his great loyalty to King 
Charles the Second, Sir John was, at the Restora- 
tion, created Knight Marischal. An ancestor of 
this family had, for his services, been created Heri- 
table Great Marischal of Scotland by Malcolm the 
Second. In 1380, Sir Edward Keith, the Sixteenth 
Marischal, was created Lord Keith, and in 1455, 
William, the Fourth Lord was by James the Second, 
created Earl Marischal. — (Translators Note.) 

* The Duke of Perth was a son of the Lord John 
Drummond who played so conspicuous a part in the 
insurrection of 1715. He is described as being of 
a " very delicate constitution, but bold as a lion in 
the field." He made his escape after the Battle of 
Culloden, but died before he came in sight of the 
French coast. He was the Sixth Earl and the Third 
pominal Duke of his family. — (Translators Note.) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS, 105 



charming portrait of the handsome Caylus, 
the favorite of Henry the third, which you 
inherited from the Connetable de Lesdigui- 
eves , and which is among our pictures in a 
gilt frame encrusted with amethysts. (Be 
it said in speaking of this picture, that Henry 
the third had forgotten it in his oratory at 
Chenonceaux, and it was Queen Louise de 
Vaudemont, who presented it to the Con- 
stable.) 

The young Lord fell in love with your 
grandmother^ then a young girl, and not de- 
void, (according to other people) of attrac- 
tions. We began by looking at one another 
first with curiosity, then with interest, and 
at last with emotion. Next, we used to 
listen to the conversation of each other 






without being able to answer a word, and 
then neither could speak at all in the pre- 
sence of the other owing to our voices at 
first trembling and then failing us altogether ; 
so to make a long story short, he one day 
said to me, apropos to nothing, " If I dared 






106 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



to fall in love with you, would you ever for- 
give me V 

" I should be enchanted !" said I, and we 

relapsed into our usual formal silence, be- 
stowing as many looks as we could upon one 
another and our eyes beaming with radiant 
happiness. 

In this manner did we spend six weeks or 
two months, looking without speaking, each 
day bringing increased delight. My aunt 
permitted him to give me some lessons in 
Spanish, not English, for in fact, at that 
time no one thought of learning English, nor 
any other northern language. The people 
of the north learnt French, but the French 
learnt only Italian or Castillian. 

Milord Georges spoke Spanish and Italian 
quite as well as French, that is to say, 
perfectly. He came once, and sat upon a 
bench behind mine, for a young lady in my 
day was never installed in a chair with a 
back, much less in an arm chair. As the 
lessons which he gave me never took place 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 107 



■ 

except in the Hotel de Breteuil, under the 
eye of my aunt, and in the presence of 
numerous spectators, there was no reason 
why my cousin Emilie should, take offenee; 
and yet this was always the case ! 

Milord Georges had translated into French 
for me (after the English fashion, in blank 
verse, that is to say, without rhyme, but not 
without reason) a charming stanza that his 
father had written for him, and which I often 
in my thoughts apply to you ; 

" When first thy wak'ning eyes beheld the light 
Thou wert in tears, whilst those around thee smiled, 

So live, that when thy spirit takes its flight 
Thine be the smiles and theirs the tears my child !"* 

He related to me one evening with great 
glee, the adventures of some Dutch heiress, 






" Quand vos yeux en naissant, s'ouvraient a la 

lumiere 
" Chacun vous souriait, inon fils, et nous 

pleuriez 
" Vivez si bien, qu'un jour a votre derniere 

heure 
" Chacun verse des pleurs et quon vous voie 

sourire." 






108 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



who had eloped with an English Orange man ; 
her parents had put in the London papers, 
that if she would not return, at least to send 
back the key of the tea-caddy, which she 
had carried away with her! 

This set me off laughing, upon which Mile, 
de Preuilly fancied we were making game 
of her, when I am sure she was not even in 
our thoughts. Emilie uttered thereon some 
remarks and this decided the young lord to 
make a proposal of marriage for me, which was 
immediately submitted to my father, my grand- 
mother (of whom I have lately spoken), and 
my Aunt De Breteuil-Charmeaux, the coward, 
who shrieked at the idea, because the 



i 



! 



Marischal of Scotland must be a Protestant ! 
I had never thought of that ! The dis- 
covery burst upon me so suddenly and so 
grievously, that I cannot even now dwell on 
it without shuddering, and without having a 
bitter recollection of what I suffered. We 
ascertained, however, that he was a Calva- 
nist, and he said so himself ; and heaven is 
my witness, that from that moment I did 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 109 



not hesitate. 1 refused the hand of milord 
Marechai ; and two days afterwards he set 
off to return to his own country; from 
whence he wrote to my aunt to say, that 
jrief and despair would lead him to acts 
which would bring him to the scaffold. 

There, my dear child, is the history of 
the only predilection I ever had in my life 

for any one except M. de Crequy, to whom I 
was honest enough to talk of it without 
reserve. 

When we met again after a lapse of many 
years, we made a discovery which equally 
surprised and affected us both. We had 
never ceased thinking of one another ; our 



hearts had been so devotedly attached, that 
they remained replete with sentiments which 
at first made us melancholy, but were after- 
wards a source of the highest gratification. 
There is a world of difference between the 

■ 

love which has endured throughout a life- 
time, and that which burnt fiercely in our 
youth, and there paused. In the latter case, 
Time has not laid bare defects, nor taught 



110 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



the bitter lesson of mutual failings ; a de- 
lusion has existed on both sides which ex- 
perience has not destroyed, and delighting 
in the idea of each other's perfections, that 
thought has seemed to smile on both with 
unspeakable sweetness till, when we meet in 
a grey old age, feelings so tender, so pure 
and so solemn arise, that they can be com- 
pared to no other sentiments or impressions 
of which our nature is capable. 

This visit of the Marischal of Scotland 
took place in the presence of Madame de 
Nevers, and it moved her to the depths of 
her soul. You were born then my dear 
grandson ! and the Marechal was seventy 
years of age. 

" Listen," said he " listen to the only 
French verses I ever composed, and perhaps 
to the only reproaches that were ever ad- 
dressed to you!" 



" Un trait, lance par caprice 
M'atteignit dans mon printemps ; 
J 'en porte la cicatrice 
Encor sous mes cheveux blancs. 



FfcEXCH MARCHIONESS. Ill 



Craignez les maux qu'amour cause, 
Et plaignez un insense 
Qui n'a point cueilli la rose 
Et que l'epine a blesse."* 



From those proud eyes, two or three tears 
trickled down his venerable cheeks 



" Are you going again immediately to join 
the king V said I, " shall we be separated 
for ever % — will you never be converted to 
the true faith V 

" I am des votres after, as before, death " 
said he with beautiful simplicity. " I have 

ever loved you too well not to embrace your 
religion — what religion can equal that which 
gives us strength to make self-sacrifices'?..- 
In fact, I have become a Catholic, and I am 

Catholic in spirit and in truth/' 

This announcement from so noble an old 



* " In life's first spring, a random shaft 

Struck me, and still I bear 
The scar of that capricious wound 

Beneath my whitened hair ; 
Do thou, then, fear the paths of love, 

And, shunning, learn to mourn, 
For him who would have cull'd the rose, 

But only found the thorn." 



112 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



man has been the joy and comfort of the 
rest of my life ! 

Milord George Keith d'Athry was heredi- 
tary Marischal, and premier Earl, a Peer of 
Scotland, Knight of the Garter and Grand 
Cross of the Black Eagle. One sees every- 
where in print, according to d'Alembert,* 
that he was born in 1685, but lie told me 
often that he was born the third of Decem- 
ber 1686. He terminated his earthly career 
in 1778 at the Court of Prussia in the en- 
joyment of the intimacy of the King, and 
the Memory of Milord-Marechal will always 
be held by me in reverence and affection. 

It is high time that I should now come to 
my grandmother de Froulay, who was kept 
continually going backwards and forwards 



* John le Rond d'Alembert received his first edu- 
cation in the college of Les Quatre Nations, among 
the Jansenists. He was secretary to the French 
Academy, and was a most subtle agent in that 
hostility against Christianity, carried on by Voltaire, 
Diderot and others, who assisted in the Ency- 
clopedia. — {Translator's Note.) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 113 



on the high road from Paris to Versailles, 
and from Versailles to Paris because Madame 
la Chanceliere was ill at Versailles, and the 
Abbe de St. Genevieve was ill at Paris, so 
that for nine or ten days after my arrival we 
had been unable to find her at home for the 
purpose of concerting measures for my pre- 
sentation at Court. 



a 



%> 



Mademoiselle de Froulay I" she ex- 
claimed as soon as she saw me, " is it possible 
that you announced your arrival tome? I 
am quite shocked and miserable about it ! 

She then made me a remarkably low curt- 
sey without asking me to sit down, as the 
Duchesse d'Usez, was waiting for her at the 
foot of the stairs to hear tidings of their 
Genovefain. 

He recovered, but the Chanceliere de 
Pont-Chartrain died, which was a great relief 
to my grandmother. 

* 

She was attired after the fashion of the 
time of La Fronde in a high cap with five 
rows of starched frills ; she had on, an open 
robe over an old under-dress of silver tissue 



114 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



on which were embroidered in relief, all the 
animals that were ever in the Ark ; one 
would have said it had been the Duchesse de 
Longueville, and I could not take my eyes 
off her.* 

Two days afterwards she came to the Hotel 
de Breteuil to return my visit, and also to 
arrange about taking me to Versailles as it 
was deemed indispensible that I should pay 
my respects to the Marechal de Tesse. 

He scarcely ever came to Paris, and bad 
already evinced a desire to see me, by ex- 
pressing surprise that I had not yet been in- 
troduced to him, our salic chieftain. 

It was agreed that we should go to Ver- 



* My grandfather and grandmother died before I 
was born, therefore when I speak of " my grand- 
mother," I allude to Julie Ter£se Grimaldi, of the 
family of the Princes of Salerno and Monaco, Dow- 
ager Marquise de Froulay. I acquired the habit of 
calling her my grandmother although she was only 
the second wife of my grandfather, Philippe Charles, 
Marquis de Froulay, de Montflaux et de Gatines- 
les-sept-Tours. She was otherwise nearly related to 
me, being the niece of the Marechal de Tess£, the 
head of our family. — {Note by tfte Author.) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 115 



sailles as soon as we could get my father to 
escort us, to whom my aunt de Breteuil very 
properly wished previously to communicate 
our movements ; but my father happened to 
be at Versailles at the time, and only paid 
flying visits to Paris without stopping ; con- 
sequently the plan was not put into exe- 
cution for several days afterwards. 

The Marechal de Tesse appeared to me to 
be deeply afflicted at the loss of his wife, 
and spoke of her with tears in his eyes. 

His rooms were part of the suite of apart- 
ments belonging to the Dauphiness (Duchesse 
de Bourgogne,) to whom he had been Grand 
Ecuyer. 

The defunct Lady-Marechale was a near 
relation of Madame de Maintenon, their 
mothers being both Demoiselles de Villette, 
and moreover my grandmother was the god- 
daughter of Louis XIV, and Marie Mancini ; 



- 



my great uncle and my grandmother were in 
consequence treated by this Prince and 



Madame de Maintenon with unusual conde- 
scension. 

The Marechal told us that he was certain 



116 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



the latter personage would not disapprove of 
the liberty he was about to take in showing 
me Saint-Cyr, where Madame de Muintenon 
had gone that morning to spend the day, 
and where Madame de Froulay always had 

the private entree. 

We dined, and then went to see the 
chapel, where we offered up a short prayer. 
I did not venture to hope that the rest of 
the Palace would be shown to me, as that 
would not have been the thing — besides, I 
felt, myself, that 1 was making my appear- 
ance there for the first time as an astonished 
country-bumpkin. 

We went down the steps of the orangery, 
and then entered the Marechal's carriage 

* 

which conveyed us to St. Cyr. We had not 
started more than seven or eight minutes 
when the carriage suddenly stopped, the two 
livery servants rushed to open the door, and 
hastily let down the steps. 

" It is the King," said my uncle, and he 
assisted us to alight without hurrying, for 






FRE^fCH MARCHIONESS. 117 






his people were sufficiently well-trained to 
afford us ample time. 

The King's carriage was escorted by only 
three musqueteers in undress, and the same 
number of light-horse. There were eight 
horses to his carriage as usual ; there were 
two pages in front, and four behind ; and 
the liveries of France were still azure, instead 

■ 

of the present horrible dark blue. 

(It is Louis XV we have to thank for this 
sad innovation,) 

The King was alone at the back of his 
carriage ;* but as soon as he perceived us the 
cortege stopped, as it were by enchantment. 

His Majesty lowered the window on his 
left, on which side we stood, and made us a 
most affable bow. 

- 

" So that is the King ! — that great King !" 
I exclaimed with tears in my eyes. 

" Yes, and you may add that good, that 
unfortunate King !" replied the Marechal 
in a melancholy tone. 

As soon as we arrived at Saint Cyr, we 
walked in the first place through a large 






118 RECOLLhXTIONS OF A 



building, appropriated to the Lords in Wait- 
ing, and the Pages of His Majesty, who was 
at this moment walking in the gardens of the 
Convent with the Bishop of Chartres and 
some other Lords whom I did not see. 

Madame de Main tenon was sitting in a 
lofty room wainscoated with oak, without 
any paint, and the furniture nothing but 
varnished leather. Before each seat was a 
square piece of tapestry for the feet, for so 
little furniture was there, that there was not 
even a carpet on the floor. 

Madame de Maintenon made me approach 
-lose to her, that she might kiss my forehead ; 
she looked at me with her most intelligent 
and gentle eyes, and then began immediately 
to converse with her neighbour — I then went 
and sat by my grandmother, who told me it 
was the Duchesse de Maine. 

" The daughter-in-law of Madame de 

Mcntespan V I enquired in a half whisper, 

but loud enough for the Marechal de Tesse to 

hear. 

" Good gracious !" exclaimed my uncle in 



' 






FRENCH MABCIIIONESS. 119 



my ear, and in an agony of anxiety, " how 
can you talk of such things here V 

As for my Grandmother, she seemed struck 
dumb with confusion. 

" Well !" said I to myself " there is evi- 
dently some mystery as to the parentage of 
this Due de Maine, which I shall never solve, 
so I shall think no more about it." 

Madame la Duchesse de Maine was neither 
quite hump-backed nor quite a fool, and yet 
there was something about her figure and 
mind, which one might call " un tour 
d'epaule" She was badly dressed for her 
age too ; she wore a robe, over which ran a 
trellise-work of vine leaves in black velvet 
on a gold ground, and a profusion of gold 
beads composed her necklace, bracelets, 
clasps, and girdle, and also decorated her 
hair. 

Old Dangeau, Mesdames de Noailles, de 

Montchevreuil, and de Caylus who were old 

enough to all intents and purposes, comprised 

the rest of the company. 

< At last a bell rang ; Madame de Mainte- 






120 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



lion made us a low curtsey, and we followed 
her to the church, where they were going to 
give the " salut" I observed on our way, 
that she was handsomely but quietly dressed 
in a rich material, brocaded in feuille-morte 
and silver. She wore a high cap, and her 
mantilla was one piece of point lace lined 
with violet. 

At each door the Duchesse de Maine and 
Madame de Maintenon exchanged polite 

little offers of precedence, always ending in 
the latter passing first, after pretending to 
hesitate and refuse for half a second or so. 
It is impossible to imagine any manoeuvring 
more skilful than that which they displayed 
on this occasion ! 

Scarcely had we entered the pew which 
was called the Bishop's, when we saw the 
King appear in the Royal pew, which is 
opposite the altar. He came in with his 
head covered ; he wore a little three-cornered 
hat richly laced, which he took off, first to 
bow to the altar, then to a gilt grating, be- 
hind which was Madame de Maintenon, 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 



12l 



and lastly to the Duchesse de Maine and the 



of 



for our pew happened to be 



line with that of his Majesty, without regard 
to our difference in rank. 

The whole of the King's suite, as well as 
the ladies and gentlemen with the Princess 
his daughter-in-law, did not come into the 
chapel of St. Cyr, at all events if they were 
there, we did not see them. 

* 

That which made the most lasting im- 
pression upon me, was the sound of the 
beautiful voices of the young girls who, un- 
expectedly to me, burst forth in unison and 
chaunted an Anthem, or rather, a national 

■ 

and religious hymn, the words by Madame 

de Brinon, and the music by the celebrated 
Lully. 

. The words, which I obtained a long time 
afterwards, were as follows : 



o 





















" Grand Dieu, sauvez le roi 
Grand Dieu, vengez le roi 

Vive le Roi ! 
Que, toujours glorieux, 
Louis, victorieux 
Voie ses ennemis 






Toujours sournis ! 












G 



122 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



Grand Dieu, sauvez le roi 
Grand Dieu, vengez la roi 
Vive la Roi ! " 



Even should you have sufficient curiosity, 
you need give yourself but little trouble as 
to procuring the music, since a German of 
the name of Handel, carried it away with 
him to Paris, and there, with an eye to his 
own interest, presented it as a homage to 
King George of Hanover. Messieurs les 
Anglais ended by adopting it as their own, 
and producing it as one of their National 
Airs !* 



1 



* It is not only the statement of Madame de 
Cr£quy of the remarkable effrontery of the German 
composer, that has set critics at work as to the ori- 
gin of " God save the King !" Two English news- 
papers have already spoken of it in the same terms. 
The " Gazette de France" also has pointed out 
several documents which bear upon it, and lastly, 
the French Journal La Mode, in the number for 
the Thirty-first of July, 1831, contains an article 
which it might not be useless to extract here : 

u Letters from Edinburg mention that the M.S. 
Memoirs of the Duchess of Perth were to be sold in 

T 

London for 3000£ sterling. They are replete with 
interesting details of the Court of Louis the Four- 
teenth, as well as of that of King James during the 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 123 



On our return from St. Cyr, they took me 
to call upon Madame la Chanceliere who was 
dying ; nevertheless she had a gathering of 
all the Court at her bedside, where she had 
the politeness to invite my grandmother and 
myself also to be seated. 



residence of their Britannic Majesties at the Cha- 
teau of St. Germain-en- Lay e. Her Grace, in giv- 
ing an account of the establishment at St. Cyr, 
bears witness to a fact not unknown in France, but 
the authenticity of which depended on the old nuns 
of that house, namely that the words and air of 
" God save the King" were of French origin ; 

" Lorsque le roy tres-chretien entroit dans la 
chapelle, tout le choeur desdites demoiselles nobles 
y chantoist a chaque foys les parolles suyvantes et 
sur un tres-bel ayr du sieur de Lully : 

" Grand Dieu, sauvey le Roy." 

(&c. &c. as before.) 

The tradition handed down at St. Cyr was, that 
the composer, Handel, during his visit to the 
Superior of this Royal House, had requested and 
obtained permission to copy the air and words of 
this Gallic invocation, which he immediately after- 
wards offered to George the First as his own com- 

position, c&c 

A declaration, signed by four nuns of St. Cyr, 

fully confirms this assertion of the Author. — (Note 

of the French Editor.) 









124 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



" G od save the King— " 
The aspirants to the nationality of *his Anthem 

» 

have been numerous. France, Germany, and Den- 
mark, have successively claimed it as their own, and 
great difficulty has long hung over the history or 
origin of it in our own country, some maintaining 

that it was composed by a Dr. Rogers in the time 
of Henry the Eighth and prior to the Reformation ; 
others again attributing it with some plausibility to 
Henry Carey, a natural son of George Saville, 
Marquis of Halifax, who died in 1743, aged 80. 
Scotland has urged her rights of paternity, declaring 
that it was taken from a book published in Aberdeen 
in 1682. The following is extracted from the 
Morning Post, November the Second, 1814, 

" The late Dr. Burney was asked by the late 
Duke of Gloucester, whether he believed that 

" God save the King!" was composed by Carey? 
The Doctor replied that he knew the words were 
not written for any King George, and that the 
earliest copy with which we are acquainted began, 
" God save great James our King I" Thence arises 
a question ; — which King James? The Jacobites 
asserted that it was composed in honor of the House 
of Stuart for James the Second, and sung at his 
Roman Catholic Chapel ; but against that plea it 
may be urged that it would be unusual to that form 
of worship to have any vocal music sung to English 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 125 



words, and moreover, in that case, " confound 
their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks," would 
apply to the Protestants, which renders it improbable 
that it would have been sung as a National Anthem ; 
still less can it be supposed that it has reference to 
James the Second after the abdication, for the 
words would not apply to him at all. 

It can be proved from the Ancient Records of 
the Merchant Tailors' Company that it was written 
in honour of James the First, the music composed 
by Dr. John BuU and the words by Ben Johnson* 
at the particular request of the Merchant Tailors 1 
Company on the occasion of a sumptuous entertain- 
ment given by them to that monarch on Thursday 
July the Sixteenth 1607, to congratulate him on 
his escape from the " Powder Plot." There is also 
positive proof in the same archives that Dr. John 
Bull was rewarded by that company for the music 
which he had composed, and in " Ward's Lives of 
the Professors of Gresham College," published in 
London, 1740, we read, " there is extant, a large 

- 

number and variety of Dr. Bull's pieces in manu- 
script, &c." and then follows a catalogue of his 

* 

compositions, and at folio 5Q is " God save the 
King !" 



* In the Merchant Tailors' books his name is spelt thus 



126 



KECOLLECTIOXS OF A 



Here, then, is an undeniable claim for Dr. Bull 
to the authorship of the tune of " God save the 
King." It must be the same tune that is sung at the 
present time, because it has never yet appeared 
that there were two of a similar description, at 
least this must be admitted until another is pro- 
duced. 

Another material circumstance is, that Dr. Bull 
could not have composed that tune for any other 
king, because he lived only in James the First's 
reign. Bull died in 1622, King James in 1625. 
Handel was born 1684, and died 1759. 

To those who are curious on this subject, a peru- 
sal of a valuable work of considerable research is 
recommended, entitled "An account of the Nation- 
al Anthem," by Richard Clark, from which the 
foregoing remarks have been compiled." 












. 



• 





















FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 127 



CHAPTER VI. 



M. <T Argenson — Cartouche in Paris — Cardinal de 
G6vres — Robbery and loss of bis pie ! — Madame 
de Beauffremont — Impudence of Cartouche — 
Charlotte of Bavaria — Introduction of Sauer- 
Kraut into France — Death of the Duke de Berry 
Death of Louis the Fourteenth — Avoidance of 
Milord and Milady Stairs — Parliament and the 
young King — An unaccountable story — Burying 
alive — Dissection extraordinary. 



* # 



i 



* * * 



■ 



* f Although the public placed the 



- 






' 



t Sixty or Eighty pages are here missing, which 
must have been the commencement of the chapter, 
and evidently contained the recollections of a whole 









128 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



most complete reliance on the energy and 
ability of M. d'Argenson, as the best possible 

Lieutenant-general of Police, still that did 
not prevent there being very considerable 
apprehension when the facts of the impudent 
robbery at the Palais-Cardinal,* and the ap- 
pearance of Cartouche in the midst of Paris, 
became known. 

Many families who had not the resource of 
being able to take refuge at Versailles, 
thought of starting for their country houses, 
although it was in the middle of winter ; 



year. It was already known that Cartouche had 
appeared two or three times in Paris before he was 
taken, and his trial lasted not less than nineteen 
months. Many pages will be found wanting in the 
course of these memoirs, but it is not supposed that 
the sheets of the M.S. have been lost ; it is more 
probable they have been destroyed from conscien- 
tious scruples, or out of respect for the feelings of 
the Orleans family. 

* The Palais Cardinal was a handsome building 
forming part of the Hotel de Soubise, where the 
state papers are now kept. It was intended for a 
habitation for the Cardinals, the Bishop-princes of 
Strasburg, and other prelates of the house of Rohan. 
— (Auifwr's Note.) 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 129 



but it was soon known that Cartouche's 
band lay in ambush in the outskirts of Paris, 
and that he himself at the head of a gang of 
forty or fifty men had had the audacity to 
plunder the Cardinal de Ge .res on his way 
to Bruges. 

Upon examination, however, it turned out 

that in reality they had only taken from 

* 

him the cross he wore on his breast, his 
pontifical ring, ten louis which were in his 

purse, a cock-robin pie, which he was taking 

to his diocese, and two flasks of Tokay, 

which he had won from my uncle at picquet ! 

I must tell you that the Cardinal de 
Gevres was a great glutton ; but — he had 
his scruples ! 

He never would play for money, for fear 
of losing what he called, (and which was in 
all truth and justice) his poor people's money. 

He would buy neither old wine nor new, 

but he never had the slightest objection to 

win it at cards ; so that he would play 

picquet for a pint of hot-house peas, or a 

G 5 



130 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



bottle of Schiraz, which might cost from 
twelve to fifteen louis. 

If he had the misfortune to lose, he got 
out of the difficulty by paying his losses 
with a number of copies of his " Charges and 
pastoral instructions" of which he always 
brought fifty copies or so, beautifully bound, 
and with gilt edges, whenever he came to 
Paris. 

This was an arranged thing in his family, 
and in society in general, which every one 
put up with, because he was known to be 
the most charitable, sincere, amiable, and 
the most greedy of prelates ! 

The robbers would not take anything 
from the Abbe Cerutti, the Cardinal's secre- 
tary, as they said he was too good-lookiug a 
fellow to be robbed ; that it was a matter 
of conscience, and they had not the courage 
to do it. 

k ' Since you evince so much regard for 
him," said his Eminence, " you ought to leave 
him half of the cock-robin pie, and a bottle 
of this Hungarian wine." 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 131 



" So we will, by all means," replied Car- 
touche, " if he will come and partake of it 
with us, he has only to say so." 

To this, however, the Abbe Cerutti would 
on no account agree ; and a scene of regrets, 
reproaches, and recriminations followed, of 
which it made one die of laughing to hear. 

The Cardinal de Gevres told us he would 
never travel again with this young Abbe, to 
avoid giving cause for scandal as one of the 
robbers had insinuated that he might be a 
young lady in disguise ! 

" Temeraire et malheureux ignorant /" ex- 
claimed the holy prelate to him, " do you 
not know that that would be sacrilegious 1" 

Cartouche struck the man a tremendous 
blow on the face which knocked him down, 
saying at the same time " Let that teach 
you to be respectful to Nos Seigneurs du 

clerge ! 

I can assure you that society in those 
days was far more interesting and amusing 

■ 

than it is at the present time, for one was 



/» 



• 



continually meeting with originals, male and 



132 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



female, and as far as I was concerned I was 
surrounded by oddities. 

Madame la Princesse de Conty told us 
one day that the Marquise de BeaufFremont* 
distributed pass-tickets to be shown to the 
robbers at night, and that people were 
much surprised at the influence she had 
over Cartouche, but the secret of his hand- 
some behaviour towards Madame de Beaufifre- 
mont is as follows : 

One morning she returned home at two 
o'clock, and when her maids had undressed 






* Helene de Courtenay, of the line of the Em- 
perors of the East. She was the last of this house, 
which descended from King Louis le Gros and Queen 
Adelais of Savoy. 

The genealogy of the soi-disant Courtenays of 
England is a badly contrived fable, as are all those 
pretensions to French origin upon which they wish 
to pride themselves in that country. Walpole used 
to tell me that with the exception of Lords Neville 
and Harcourt, there was not in the British Peerage 
one family, in reality of French origin, and con- 
temporary with William the Conqueror. I have al- 
ready named to you the absurd pretensions (as it 
appears to me) of the Seymours. — (Authors Note. J 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS, 133 



her, she dismissed them that she might sit 
at her ease by her fireside and write. She 
was writing a Journal which has not been 
found amongst her papers, and in truth this 
is to be regretted, since her talents were 
unrivalled. 

However, it happened that night that she 
suddenly heard, first of all, a suppressed 
noise in the chimney — next, clouds of soot 
descended, then, swallows' nests and brick 
and mortar came rattling down helter- 
skelter, and last of all, a man appeared, 
armed to the teeth. 

As he had sent the burning log of wood 
and the embers into the middle of the room, 
the first thing he did was, to take the tongs, 
and methodically replace them all in the 
grate, at the same time jerking away with 
his feet some burning pieces to avoid crush- 
ing them upon the carpet ; then, turning 
towards the Marquise, he made her a low 
bow. 

" May I take the liberty Madame of en- 






134 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



quiring, whom I have the honour of ad- 
dressing ?" 

" Sir, I am Mme. de Beauffremont, but I 
do not know you at all ; you do not look 
like a thief, and as you appear to have great 
regard for my furniture, I cannot guess why 
you enter my room in this manner in the 
dead of the night \ " 

" Madame, it was not my intention to do 
so ; would you have the goodness to accom- 
pany me to the door of your Hotel v ' he 
continued drawing a pistol from his waist, 
and taking up a lighted candle. 



"But sir " 

" Madame, will you be so obliging as to 
make haste," he interrupted, cocking his 
pistol, " we will go down together, and you 
will order the porter to pull the string, and 

let me out." 

" Pray speak lower sir," said the unfortu- 
nate woman trembling with fright, "pray 
speak lower, the Marquis de Beauffremont 
might hear you." 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 135 



'Put on your mantle Madame, and do 
not stand in your dressing-gown for it is 
uncommonly cold !" 



Well ! at last it was all arranged accord- 
ing to his satisfaction, and Madame de Beauf- 
fremont was so overcome that she was obliged 
to sit down for a moment in the porter's 
lodge as soon as this desperate character had 

passed beyond the door. 

She then heard a knocking at the window 

of the lodge which faced the street. 

" Mister Porter," said the same voice, " I 
am Cartouche! do you hear? I am Car- 
touche ; I have walked one or two leagues 
to-night on the roofs, because the officers 
were in pursuit of me — do not go and suppose 
therefore that it was an affair of gallantry, 
and that I am a lover of Mme. de Beauf- 
fremont ; I shall have something more to do 
with you, and the day after to-morrow you 
will hear from me by the petite-poste." 

Mme. de Beauffremont went upstairs 
immediately, and awoke her husband who 
maintained that she had had the night-mare 



136 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



and that it was only a horrible dream ; but 
two or three days afterwards she received a 
most respectful, and well-expressed letter of 
thanks, and apologies, in which was enclosed 

a safe-conduct for Mme. de Beauffremont* 
authorizing her to include in it, her family. 

The letter had been preceded by a small 
box, containing a beautiful diamond, unset, 
which was valued at Madame Lempereue's 
at 2000 ecus. 

This sum was placed by the Marquis de 
Beauflremont, in the hands of the treasurer 
of Notre Dame, for the benefit of the sick 
of the Hotel Dieu. Thus you see that every 
one concerned in this affair, acquitted them- 
selves to perfection. 

Madame de Maintenon again admitted me 
upon another occasion, into her apartments at 

the chateau de Versailles. 

She made very honourable mention to me 
of the high estimation in which she held our 
family ; and when the hour was about to 
strike at which the King was expected, my 

grandmother rose to take leave of Madame 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 137 



(she was always addressed in the third person) 
and to conduct me to the grand, ecurie where 
I was to partake of a collation with my cou- 
sin's of Lorraine. 

" Do not move, Marquise" was all that 
Mme. de Maintenon said ; and thus she dis- 
creetly avoided any question as to my 
remaining in a room where his Majesty could 
not fail to take notice of me. 

■ 

The King arrived very soon afterwards, 

■ 

without any further announcement than 
the folding-doors being thrown open, and the 
entrance of a gentleman of the household, 
who, preceding his Majesty by three or four 
minutes, made a profound obeisance to 
Madame de Maintenon without speaking, 
just as they announced dinner to the King 
and Queen. 

• His Majesty had several steps to take on 
entering the room, and he appeared to walk 
with pain ; nevertheless, he made a very 
graceful bow to Madame de Maintenon. 

" Here" she said, " is a young lady whom I 
have taken the liberty of detaining, in order 



138 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



that I might present her to the King ; it is 
hardly necessary for me to mention her 



name." 



"I conclude then," replied his Majesty 
" that she owes her presence here to my 
god-daughter ; there is a sort of spiritual 
parentage between Mademoiselle and myself, 
but we are also related in another way," he 
added ; and all this time he was looking at 
me as though he would say " you may think 
yourself fortunate." 

" I request the King's permission for you 
to kiss his hand," said my grandmother, with 

an air of proud humility, totally free from 
servility or obsequiousness ; and his Majesty 
extended it as though he offered it for me to 
kiss — with the palm underneath — instead of 
which, he immediately closed it on taking 
hold of mine and deigned to raise it to his 
lips. * 






*Here, on this very day Septide of the 3rd decade 
of the month Vend6miaire, in the year XI of the 
French Republic, I add these lines on my return 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 139 



Nanon, the important and celebrated 
Nanon, came and whispered something in 
her mistress's ear, and thereupon Madame,* 
the widow of Monsieur, the King's brother, 
made her appearance. Mme. de Mainte- 
non caused an arm-chair to be placed for 
her (having first risen to salute her), but 
Madame awaited it on the spot where she 
stood, looking as cold and cutting as the 
north-wind, and without making any sort of 
return for the civility. This Princess was 
dressed up something like an Amazon, in 
a man's cloth doublet, laced at all the seams ; 



from the Tuileries, where General Bonaparte has 
kissed my hand. I could not help recollecting that 
I have received exactly the same politeness from 
King Louis-le-Grand, and from the first Consul of 
the Republic, with an interval of 95 years between 
the two circumstances ! Bonaparte sent word that 
he wished to see me, and has since promised that 
our forests which were sequestrated, shall be restored 
to us. Should strength and time be allowed me, I 
will write, or rather dictate, an account of this ex- 
traordinary interview. — {Note by the Author.) 

t Charlotte of Bavaria, mother of the Regent* 
died in 1722. 



140 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



her wig was similar to that of his Majesty, 
and her hat exactly the same as his, which 
hat was not taken off, nor even raised 
whilst she was bowing to us, a ceremony she 
got through with considerable ease. 

It is as well to add that this horrible 
Princess, had her feet in boots, and a whip 
in her hand ; she was badly formed, badly 
set up, and evilly-disposed towards every- 
thing and everybody. 

Madame de Froulay asked the King to 
allow her to present me to Madame, when 
she made me a bow a la cavaliere, and 
began questioning me about the health of 
the grand prior de Froulay, about whom I 
knew exactly nothing ! so that I remained 
mute, with my mouth open, and Madame 
maintained to her dying day that I was 
" plus hite qu'une carpe !" 

I must tell you that this Mother of the 
Regent lived on soup a la biSrre and salt 
beef ; she continually partook of a certain 
ragout made of fermented cabbage, which 
she had sent to her from the Palatinate and 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 141 






whenever it was served, the whole quarter 
of the palace which she inhabited was per- 
fectly unbearable from the smell of this 
noxious vegetable. 

She called it " schaucraout," and as she 
wished to make every one who dined with 
her taste it, those who escaped had the best 
of it ! 

To make amends for my loss of Madame's 
delicacies, to which I had not the pretension 
to aspire, I went and partook of cream and 
fruits with Mesdemoiselles de Lorraine, whom 
my uncle the Grand Ecuyer had invited to 
see some dancing dogs dressed up as different 
characters, which he had provided for their 
especial amusement. 

These two young Princesses, the prettiest 
creatures in the world, were then Miles de 
Joinville and de Guise, since which, one 
became Duchesse de Bouillon, and the other 
was Marechal de Richelieu's first wife. You 
will see hereafter that she had an only 
daughter, Mme. d'Egmont, who fully in- 
herited all the virtues of her mother. 












142 RECOLLECTIONS OF A. 



It was a few days after my return from 
Versailles that we heard of the death of the 
Due de Berry, for whom we wore mourning 
the established time, which was more than 
his wife did. 



* * * * 



* # * * 

The King was completely overwhelmed by 
this dreadful discovery, and every circum- 
stance confirms the belief, that owing to it 
he resolved to keep the father of this Princess, 
as well as all the Orleans family, separate 
from the person of his successor, and from 
all share in the government during the 
minority of the Dauphin, who was then 
only four years of age. 

After the death of this last of his grand- 
sons, the King's health visibly declined. 
For seven or eight months his weakness 
daily encreased, and on the 1st of Sep- 
tember in the following year, he yielded up 
his spirit full of that hope and repentance 
with which he had been animated for the 



FRENCH MARCHIOiNESS. 143 



last thirty-five years of his life, a period 
which he had spent in continued piety and 
in the practice of every virtue. 

Vir primo imperii optimis principibits, 
et ultimo mediis comparandus. 

You are already aware that I saw a great 
deal of Mesdemoiselles de Lorraine. We 
were resolutely determined to attend the 
opening of Parliament by the young King 
in person, and the President exerted him- 
self to the utmost to gratify our wishes, but 
without success, as the Kegent had ordered 
two places to be reserved for Milord and 
Milady Stairs.* We were such Jacobites 
that we could not endure the sight of these 
Orangists, and we refused to be in their 
company, so they placed us at the embra- 
sure of a window, close to the lit de justice* 



* The Earl of Stair, Ambassador Extraordinary 
to the Court of France. — {Translator's Note.) 

* Lit de justice. (Bed of justice.) The seat or 
throne on which the King of France used to sit 
when personally present in Parliament. As the de- 
bates were enough to send His Majesty to sleep, it 









144 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



and there we stood under the guardianship 
of two officers of parliament who watched 
us as closely as the duennas of Calderon 



Lope de Vega would have done 









All that I witnessed at that first sitting 
of the House of Peers in the new reign has 
often afforded me food for meditation. 

The young King was carried by the Grand- 
Ecuyer from his carriage to the door of the 
House of Parliament, and there the Due de 
Trismes, performing the duties of Grand- 
Chamberlain, received him in his arms, and 
carried him to the throne, at the foot of which 
sat one of his aunts, that is, Madame de 
Ventadour, His Majesty's preceptress. 

She was a person admirably adapted for 
that situation, as she was by nature prodigi- 



was right that he should be provided with a bed 
when listening to the speeches. Louis the Sixteenth 
was the last French Sovereign who assembled a Bed 
of Justice, which led to the Revolution; so that the 
saying, " as you make your bed, so you must lie !" 
was very pertinent to the case of that unfortunate 
Monarch. — Punch. October 1845. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 145 



ously formal, wonderfully grave, and a most 
determined disposition. 

The King was dressed in a little plaited 
jacket of violet-coloured cloth with hanging 
sleeves ; he had on his head a little cap only, 
of violet-coloured crape* which seemed to be 
lined with cloth of gold, and he had leading 
strings which hung down behind to the bottom 
of his dress. This however, was only to mark 
his youth, for he was known to be able to 
walk alone, and could run quite well. I 
must tell you that his Majesty's leading- 
strings, which were crossed on his shoulders, 
were of cloth of gold, and not of the same 
material as his dress. 

I 

I believe Madame de Ventadour had de- 
cided that leading-strings ought to form a 
part of a King's dress as long as it was 
possible to continue them. 

From his blue collar was suspended the 



It is probably known to most people that violet 
colour is the mourning worn by the Kings of France. 
{Authors Note.) 

H 



146 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



Cross of St. Louis, and of the Holy Ghost, 
and his beautiful brown hair, which curled 
naturally, fell in flowing ringlets on his 
shoulders. His beauty was most dazzling, 
and every one who has seen him will tell 
you that his portrait could not be flattered. 

The royal child began by listening quietly, 
if not attentively to all the harangues, and 
studied speeches, the taking of oaths, and all 
the routine business, but we perceived that 
he kept his head turned to the left side and 
appeared to be continually watching Cardinal 
de Noailles, without ever having given a 
glance at all the Presidents and Councillors 
of whom he knew no more than of the Arch- 
bishop of Paris. 

At length the old Marechal de Villeroy, 
began to make signs to the little King with 
his great head and eyes, in order to induce 
him to look on the other side and straight 
before him, but his Majesty would not at- 
tend to them, and at last got out of all 
patience. 

** Laissez moil Laissez moil" were the 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 147 



first words uttered by King Louis XV, from 
the throne ! But it was not only the little 
voice of the King we heard — we there recog- 
nized our great fundamental law, and the 
high maxims of hereditary Monarchy. 

But it is now time to leave the Palais de 
Justice, and to return to the saloons of 
Paris ; listen whilst I tell you a story which 
involves an unfathomable mystery. 

The Comtesse de Saulx,* Tavannes, and 
Busan9ois had always passed for a very 
strange person. Her habits were wild, and 
her pursuits occult and mysterious. She was 
not suspected of having any liaison certainly, 
but she formed no friendships, and was 
neither in communication with her own 
relations, nor those of her husband. 

She lived almost always in an old and 
gloomy Chateau, called Lux, close to Saulx-le- 
Duc, in Burgundy, which Chateau is the 
centre of a baron v which descended from the 



* Marie- Catherine d'Aguesseau, sister of the Chan- 
cellor of that name. 









H 3 






148 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



head of her family. Mme. de Saulx disap- 
peared sometimes from home without the 
knowledge of any of her establishment ; no 
one having seen her go out, and no one 

being able to imagine what had become of 
her ! Then, after an absence, and a pro- 
found silence of seven or eight days, they 
would hear her ring the bell of her room, 
and would find her there just as if nothing 
had happened, always in the same clothes 
which she wore on the day that she dis- 
appeared. 

The Prince de Conde, governor of the 
province, and M. Bouchet, intendant of 
Burgundy, used to say, that the most in- 
quisitive and prying of the country could 
never see anything, nor account iu any way 
for all they heard. 

One Saturday night the Comtesse de 
Saulx retired to her room and sent her 
maids to bed, saying, that she should not 
undress then, but would see about it later. 
They heard her draw the bolts of her door, 
and, as they retired, the two maids discussed 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 149 



this circumstance, because their mistress 
hardly ever read or wrote ; and, moreover, 

* 

there was neither a book nor writing mate- 
rials in her bedroom. 

"Can you understand what Madame is 
going to do, shut up in that old turret, all by 
herself T 

"God knows! — and may He watch over 
her r 

* 

I ought to tell you, that this room was in 
one of the turrets of the Chateau. It was 
lighted by one solitary window, closely and 
strongly barred ; and the vent of the chim- 
ney, according to ancient custom, was also 
barred with a double cross of iron. 

This same room was without any closets ; 
it was without egress or opening of any 
other kind than the barred window, the 
barred chimney and the door, which this 
extraordinary person had taken the precau- 
tion to bolt. Lastly, the only apartment 
which led to this, was a large chamber, 
where an old Demoiselle d'Aguesseau slept ; 
to whom her niece afforded protection, be- 



150 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



cause she was a sort of idiot, and, perhaps, 

also, because she could pay handsomely for 
her board ! 

That is a plan of the locality, and now 
for the state of affairs. 

The next morning, at seven o'clock, they 
entered, as usual, this large room, where 
Mile. d'Aguesseau slept, and which as I endeav- 
oured to explain above, was a sort of passage- 
room, or ante-chamber. They found Jier 
lying on the floor in her night-clothes, sense- 
less, and having in her right hand tight hold 
of the bell-rope, which she had pulled down. 

All that they could elicit from her when 
she came to her senses (and they were never 
very strong at the best of times) was, that 
she had been very much frightened, and 
that she could remember nothing more. 

They then began to tap gently at her 
niece's door, after which they knocked vio- 
lently for a long time, but still there was no 
answer. 

They sent for the cure, the bailli-seigneu- 
rial, and the chief persons of the neighbour- 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 151 



hood ; who consulted, and, at last, determined 
upon breaking down the door, but not until 
having legally verified that the said door was 
bolted from within, whilst the key was in 
the lock outside the room, on the side where 
stood those who signed the proces-verbal. 

The Comtesse de Saulx was never seen 
again. Nothing was disarranged in her room, 
and the bed was not even turned down. 
Two wax-candles, which the maid had 
brought the night before, and placed on a 
little table near an arm-chair, had been 
blown out in the middle of the night ; for 
they calculated that they could not have 
burnt more than two hours and a half. 
One of her slippers, which I have seen at her 
son's (it was of green velvet with a red heel) 
was lying on the floor near the arm-chair ; 
and that was ail they ever found belonging 
to her. 

It was known that her son, the Cardinal 
de Tavannes, had hastened to the spot, in 
order to institute a legal enquiry ; but it 
was generally supposed that the procureur- 



i 

r 



152 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



general of Burgundy gave him to understand 
that the honour of his house might be com- 
promised thereby ; and certain it is, that 
the Cardinal suddenly abandoned his inten- 
tion, and hastened back to his diocese of 
Chalons. (He was not Archbishop of Rouen 
at that time.) 

Some spoke of sorcery, and illicit dealings 
with the Bohemians ; others mentioned the 
Deacon Paris, and the Chevalier de Follard ; 
and many discussed vampirism, which, how- 
ever, would not have helped to explain the 
mystery of how a tall woman of five feet 
four inches could evaporate and leave no 

trace behind ! 

It was on the lips of every one for a long 
time, and for this good reason, that no one 
knew what to say about it. The Chancelier 
d'Aguesseau has told me a hundred times 
that he knew no more of it than I did, and 
that it was perfectly incomprehensible. 

Apropos to these ancient Counts, now be- 
come Dues de Saulx, and more especially 
apropos to stories about doors, I must tell 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 153 



you of a cousin of mine, Marie-Casimire de 
Froulay-Tesse, who was married to Charles 
Gaspard de Saulx-Tavannes, grandson to the 
mysterious lady above-mentioned. Marie- 
Casimire was buried in the vaults of the 
Holy Chapel of Saulx-le-Duc, on the 18 th 
of August, 1753, two or three days after 
her decease. Eighteen months afterwards 
they had to re-open these vaults, in order to 
deposit therein the body of the Chevalier de 
Tavannes, her husband's uncle. 

They were surprised at first, and then 
terrified at finding that there was an unac- 
countable resistance from within, when they 
attempted to open the door. By dint of 
force and perseverance, however, they suc- 
ceeded, at length, in turning it upon its 
stone hinges ; they then heard an appalling 
noise of bones rolling down the steps from 
the door to the bottom of the vault ; of those 
who had the courage to descend, the first 
entangled his feet in a handkerchief ; and 
when they proceeded to place the body of 

M. de Tavannes beside that of his niece, they 

h 5 



154 RECOLLECTIO> S OF A 



found that the coffin of this ill-fated young wo- 
man had fallen onthe ground, and was broken ! 
They then discovered to their utter horror, 

that she had been buried alive ! that she 
had had sufficient strength to burst the two 
coffin-lids, and that she had come forth and 
died of hunger at the entrance of the se- 
pulchre, from whence her pitiable voice 
could not reach those who were weeping for 
her! 



She was adored by her husband, her 



children, and her brothers ; and particularly 
so by the Marechale de Luxembourg, who 
has repeatedly spoken of her to me with tears 
in her eyes. 

There is no saying how many unfortunate 
people have been buried before they were 
dead ! the famous Boerhaave told my father 
that he had to combat in opinion all the 

Hague, with regard to a certain grand pension- 
naire, by nameVan Nollier, whom they wished 
to put underground, but who lived, thanks 

to Boerhaave, thirteen or fifteen years after 
that. 






IKK 

FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 155 



You had an instance of this in your 
family. The lady of the Connetable de 
Lesdiguieres uttered an awful shriek, and 
raised herself up when they commenced 
opening her, in order to embalm her ; she 
seized the surgeon's knife with her hands, 
and cut her fingers nearly to the bone ; but 
the poor woman then fell back insensible 
and died, beyond mistake, two days after- 
wards. 

When the wife of that accursed Baron de 
Lohesme was exhumed, whom he had buried 
two days before in the cemetery of St. Medard, 
they found that she had knocked the skin off 
her elbows and knees in her coffin ! In fact, 
burials, and particularly dissections, do not 
meet with the attention they deserve, when, 
as you will allow, they merit the very greatest. 

I have met, occasionally, a certain Mar- 
quis de Gomes, de Peres, de Cortes, y otros, 
y otros, y otros, with forty names of grand- 
mothers, and four pages of these y otros, (which 
answer to our et cetera) who used always to 

be present at the dissection of his relatives 



156 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



when he was in Portugal; and this said 
Marquis made them continue the operation 
of opening one of his uncles, regardless of 
the cries and entreaties of the patient, who 
had revived ; " but' said he, " he had good 
reasons for the act" since on it depended his 
becoming heir to the Comte d'Abrantes. 

My uncle de Tesse always said that these 
Portuguese, but especially the nobles, were 
creatures of another world and that in com- 
paring them with the Spaniards, these lat- 
ter would be found models of perfection 
and modesty ! 
























FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 157 



CHAPTER VII. 



The Jacobites— Milord Walsh — Dukedoms of tha 
Earls of Perth and Melfort— Chevalier de St. 
Georges — A question of marriage — Suitors — In- 
terview aud choice — An awkward mistake — 
Eclaircissement — M. de Cr£quy — Visit to the 
Hotel de Lesdigui^res — The Duchess Margaret — 
Ermine — An expensive wig — The marriage of the 
Authoress — The Cross-Palatine — Death of the 
Duchess. 



The connection of the Breteuil family with 
the Marechal Comte de Thomond, who was 
then only Viscount de Clare, brought us 
into frequent intercourse with the Jacobite 
refugees, and especially with those about the 
court of St. Germain, for whom the Hotel de 

Breteuil was the rendez-vous in Paris. 






158 RECOLLECTIONS OP K 



Their meetings took place in the drawing- 
room of the Marquise (on the ground-floor) 
and all relating to them, that reached us up 
stairs used to interest us warmly, but we 
were somewhat reserved before Madame du 
Chatelet, who was on the side of the Duke of 
Hanover, without, as a matter of course, 
being able to assign any reasonable motive 
for it ; — perhaps it was the natural conse- 
quence of her great abilities !" 

I always thought that the wish of attract- 
ing the attention of Milord Georges Keith, 
and in the end, the wish of driving him mad, 
as she childishly termed it, had a great deal 






to do with her partizanship for the House of 
Hanover, but the Marechal d'Ecosse showed 
his utter disregard of her by letting her 
speak on without listening, so it always 
ended by the beautiful Emilie being driven 
mad herself ! 

Amongst those refugees who were dis- 
tinguished for their fidelity to the King their 
master, and for their generous devotion and 



. 



FRENCII MARCHIONESS. 159 



personal sacrifices was Milord Walsh.* He 
was the son of that brave officer in the 
English Royal Navy who, after the battle of 



* Lord Malum, (Vol. iii page 550) tells us he 
was acquainted at Baden with a Count Walsh whom 
he understood to be the descendant and representa- 
tive of that gentleman. The following is Charles's 
letter, dated " & l'ancre dans le baie de Longhaylort, 
2d Aout V. S. " Sire, j'ai r£cu des services si im- 
portans de M. Antoine Walsh qu' il n'y a rien que 
je ne me croie oblige de faire pour lui en temoigner 
mon agrdment. Ainsi je lui ai promis d' employer 
tout mon credit aupres de V. M. pour lui obtenir le 
titre, de Comte d'Irelande. II est issu d'une fort bonne 
famille, tres en etat de soutenir la dignite de ce 
nouveau titre, et n'a pas besoin d' autre chose. C'est la 
premiere grace que je vous demande depuis mon ar- 
rivee dans ce pays. J' espere bien que ce ne sera 
pas la derniere, mais en tout cas, je vous supplie de 
me l'accorder. Je la regardrai comme une obliga- 
tion particuliere accordee & votre tres obeissant fils, 
Charles P." 

The title of Earl had however been already con- 
ferred on Walsh's father by James the Second. 
Charles's request was not simply that Walsh should 
be made an Irish Earl, but that he should have the 
title of Earl of Ireland. 

According to the " Jacobite Memoirs," edited by 
Robert Chambers, Charles knighted Walsh ' imme- 
diately after his landing, paid him 2000£ as an in- 
demnity and presented him with a sword, on the 
blade of which Charles had had engraved the 
irords " Gratitudo Fidelitate." — (Translators Note.) 
Vide Kloses Memoirs of Prince Charles Stuart. 



160 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



the Boyne received all the Court of England 
on board his ship and brought them to a 

French port. 

To recruit his fortune, which he had sacri- 
ficed in Ireland, where of course all his 
property had been confiscated, Milord Walsh 
had established at Nantes a bureau dar- 
mateur, or, as they would call it in the 
present day, a maison de commerce. From 
this, he realized considerable profits and it 
was one of* the principal resources of his 
party. He was the guardian angel of the 
Pretender whom he assisted " consilio manu- 

que." * 

It does not enter into my plan to relate 
to you the ill-fated expedition of the 



* James the Second conferred the title of " Lord 
upon Captain Walsh as a reward for his services, 
at the same time that H. B. M. raised the Earls of 
Perth and Melfort to the dignity of Dukes at St. 
Germains. The Walsh's were proved to be an old 
and noble family of Ireland. These Milords and 
Messieurs Walsh ended by settling in France, and 
one of them, whom Louis the Fifteenth made Comte 
of the estates of Serrant, is now Colonel-proprietor 

of a regiment of his name in the Irish Brigade. 

{Authors NoteY 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS, 161 



Chevalier de St. Georges to Scotland, t 
A few months afterwards he retired to the 
Roman States, where he passed the re- 
mainder of his life, and there I had the 
honour of paying my court to him in the 
year 1721. 

My Father, in conjunction with the Mar- 
quis de Breteuil, arranged the preliminaries 
of the Prince's marriage with the grand- 
daughter of the great Sobieski. We shall 
find them again at Rome, and you will see 
how nearly the Princess Marie-Casimire 
Sobieski, sister of the Pretender, became the 
wife of the Due de Crequy before she 
married your great-uncle the Due de Bouil- 
lon. 

One day my grandmother de Froulay 
said to me, 

" Mori petit cceur, there appears to be 
some idea of arranging a marriage for you," 






t " The Pope lent a kind of religious consecration 
to the enterprise, bestowing on the young Prince 
the title of " Chevalier de St. Georges." — Vide 
Jesse's History of Pretenders. (Translator's Note.) 



162 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



and then she suddenly turned the conver- 
sation without having looked at me. I felt 
myself getting red, so I was grateful for 
the delicate attention. 

The next day my father came to see me. 

" My child," said he, " a proposal of 
marriage has been made for you which seems 
to me to be in every respect suitable ; I 
beg you to listen to what your aunt will say 
to you on the subject." 

That is every word my father uttered 
respecting it ! 

My aunt (the Baroness) asked me two 
days afterwards if I had never remarked 
the Marquis de Laval-Boisdauphin. 

" He would have no objection to marry 
you," she said with an air of the most per- 
feet indifference in his cause. 






<c 



I should be inconsolable ! was my 



answer. 



" I cannot find fault with you for that/' 
she replied, " therefore you may rely on my 
not naming it to you again ; — but you have 



another suitor whom you have never seen — 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 163 



your grandmother thought you might meet 
without any embarrassment in a parlour at 
the Abbaye de Panthemont. It is a young 
man of very high birth ; he has become the 
head of his family, and for further informa- 
tion you have only to open the history of the 
great officers of the Crown, to learn who the 
De Crequys are." 

" Oh, my dear annt, I know all about this 
grand genealogy ! It is a name that is like 
the sound of a clarion to my ears — a glorious 
family, and, if I recollect rightly, the only 
one of all Europe which is mentioned in a 
record of Charlemagne. From it have sprung 
Cardinals and Marshals! there have been 
Dukes of Crequy, Lesdiguieres, De Retz and 
de Beaupreau ; Princes of Montlaur, de 
Blanchefort and de Poix — but how is it that 
this one is not a Duke V 

" Apparently, because they do not seem to 
care about it ; since the late creations every 
one allows that titles are worth nothing." 

The divine Emilie here entered unex- 

■ 

pectedly to see her mother, who raised her 
finger to her lips and we were silent. " Ma 



164 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



toute belle" said my grandmother to me 
" put on your new dress de dauphine a bou- 
quets to-morrow, and be ready by eleven 
o'clock precisely ; I should wish you also to 
place pompons in your hair, so I am going 
to send you some dark purple and dark 
green ; we will pay a visit to Mesdames de 
Panthemont, to whom I promised to take 
you when I was able. Bon soir, ma reine !" 

" Will you take me also, my dear aunt V. 

It was Mile, de Preuilly who made the 
request, and my grandmother hesitated for 
the space of a minute. 

" Most assuredly ma charmante. I have 
no objection," she then answered, and her 
air of annoyance gave me matter for re- 
flection on the important and mysterious 
intention of this visit. 

The Dowager Marchioness always thought 
it proper to adhere to old customs ; her first 
marriage interview with my grandfather took 
place through the grating at Belle-chasse. 
It was therefore befitting, it was indispensible, 
in her eyes, to treat with Monsieur de Crequy 

j 

as though I had not yet quitted my convent. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 165 



Here we were then at Panthemont, in the 
middle of the cloister, by virtue of the per- 
mission of Cardinal de Noailles, and we be- 
gan by paying visits to the lady Abbess, the 
coadjutrice, the Prioress, and to Madame 
Guy on, who was there by a lettre de cachet. 

The Prioress was Mme. de Crequy Les- 
diguieres. It had been arranged that her 
cousin (Monsieur de Crequy) should ask 
to see her in the parlour, whilst the Duchesse 
de Valentinois, who lived opposite the 
Abbey, should call upon us there at the 
same time. 

When we entered, we found the Marquis 
holding a conference with his Nun at the 
other end of the same grating ; he merely 
made us a low bow. His appearance was 
very noble, and he looked towards us several 
times, but with so perfectly unconcerned an 
air that Mile, de Preuilly suspected nothing. 

One glance was sufficient to satisfy me 
and my decision was made. He only waited, 
according to custom, until we were gone, 
but it so happened that my intended had 
mistaken Mile, de Preuilly for Mile, de 






1C6 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



■ 

Froulay — taking me, in fact, for my cousin 
Emilie. This damped his ardour and delayed 
the negotiations, so much so, that it became 
doubtful whether the marriage would take 
place- at all. 

I was very much grieved ; (why should I 
not allow this to my grandson, since I so 
frequently avowed it to his grandfather 1) 

" I would rather marry Mile, de Breteuil," 
said he to M. de Laon ; " her cousin looks 
like nothing but a tomboy ! I must beg of 
you to name this to M. de Rennes in con- 
fidence, that he may report it to the Baron 
de Breteuil. I am quite aware what I lose 
in point of fortune, and nobility for my 
children, but I must have it in my power to 
love my wife thoroughly ! Mile, de Breteuil 
is charming, and Mile, de Froulay I cannot 
endure ! " 

(We have often, since, laughed heartily 

at this.) 

M. l'eveque-duc de Laon could not under- 
stand it, but the Baronne de Breteuil saw 
through the mistake immediately, and ex- 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 167 



plained it to him in a proper and satisfactory 



manner. 



" But you will allow that it was all M. de 
Crequy's fault !" my grandmother used to 
say, and these words she was in the habit of 

w 

repeating for fifteen years — to the end of her 
life in fact — and M. de Crequy never dis- 
agreed with her. 

When I first began writing to you, I fancied 
that I could not refrain from telling you every 
circumstance relating to M. de Crequy ; I 
am become old and withered, but my heart 
is not so my child ! behold how it still bounds 
when I think of your grandsire, to whom I 
am indebted for so many years of peaceful 
happiness ; but my tears blind me when I 
recall him to my thoughts to produce him 
before you, endowed as he then was, with all 
the charms of youth. 

I had not the good fortune to die first, 
and my grief is renewed to that extent that 
I can no longer speak of him to you — more- 
over the portrait I should draw of him would 
never satisfy me, and I might incur the charge 



168 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



of partiality ; you will learn to know your 
grandfather in reading the memoirs of his 
widow. The facts will speak for themselves 
more eloquently than I have done. 

After seven or eight months of talking, 

onferences, and other preliminaries, which 
my relations thought were positively neces- 
sary, it was decided that we should go and 
pay a visit to the Duchesse de Lesdiguieres, 
inasmuch as she was the Dowager and prin- 
cipal survivor of the eldest branch of the 
honse of De Crequy. 

Marguerite de Gondi, Duchesse de Crequy- 
Lesdiguieres was Duchesse de Retz, and de 
Beaupreau. Since the death of her amiable 
son, and that of the Archbishop of Paris, 

M. Harlay, this famous Duchess had never 
gone beyond the grounds of her grand palace : 
the Chapel is still open to the public, and 
the gardens were of immense extent ; the 
timber-yards of the arsenal occupy at pre- 
sent the greatest part. 

One room for instance, of this more than 
regal abode, had hangings of cloth of gold 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 169 



worked in arabesques of mother-of-pearl and 

coral, so you may form an idea of the rest 

of the furniture. To tell you here of the 

valuable pictures and the rich draperies, the 

vases and the girandoles of rock-crystal 

the quantity of Buhl, antique bronzes, rare 

marbles, jewels of inestimable value and 

profusion of trinkets, would be, to copy 

some old memorial of the Louvre or catalogue 
of the Vatican. 

I must tell you that refreshments were 
served to us on gold-enamelled plates bordered 
with fine pearls, split, as we see them set 
round watches or in the medallions of collars. 

The Marechal de Richelieu always said 
that the Due de Lesdiguieres was the last 
Grand Seigneur that would be seen in 
France. He never went to Court without a 
retinue of sixty gentlemen —he never refused 
a poor person, and never gave a beggar less 

than a pistole! 

This beautiful D uchess had retained her 
beauty unimpaired, and I never saw any other 
person so distinguished by nature in person, 

i 



170 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



grace, and physiognomy, added to the most 
elegant simplicity of manner. There re- 
mained in ail her movements an air of pre- 
occupation and restraint over her feelings, 
with a sort of nonchaloir and graceful apathy 
towards all that surrounded her. One could 
see that the great business of her life had 
not been to shine with outward display or to 
dazzle indifferent eyes — you could perceive 
no trace, no spark of vain pretension in the 
midst of such an array of splendour. 

But she had been born in magnificence 
she had lived in it — and it having thus become 
habitual, it now failed to attract her notice. 
Since the death of the only two beings 
whom she loved, the world had become less 
than nothing to her, though that did not 
check the current of her benevolence, nor 
prevent her keeping up the polished forms of 

society. 

She preceded us as far as a sort of throne- 
room filled with ecuyers, pages, and other 
gentlemen belonging to her, all dressed in 
handsome mourning, as well as their mistress, 



** 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 171 



on account of the King's death ; for the in- 
novations of the Duchesse de Berry had not 
penetrated the gilded and emblazoned grat- 
ings of the Hotel de Lesdiguieres. 

In her own apartments she was waited on 
by young ladies, who were in great numbers, 
and who had been, for the most part, former 
pensionnaires of St. Cyr. When we had 
seated ourselves in her room, M. de Crequy 
made me a little sign with his eyes to look 
at the portrait of a young man, who ap- 
peared to me to be the handsomest in the 
world ; and this picture, the chef-d'oeuvre 

* 

of Mignard, was the only one in the room. 

■ 

As my eyes reverted to the Duchesse de 

Lesdiguieres, she smiled upon me with an 

air of mournful resignation. The mother's 

feelings had been awakened and I under- 
stood them.* 

1 remember that the carpet in this beauti- 



7*" 



* This picture is no longer in existence. It was 
destroyed when Conflans was pillaged and ransacked 
in July, 1830.— fiV 7 ^ of French Editor.) 

I 3 






172 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



ful room was of grey velvet bordered with 
gold fringe, but that part which was then 
called "tapis-de-milieu," was made of real 
ermine, and, valuing it at what a ducal 
mantle costs, my uncle de Breteuil estimated 
its worth at ninety thousand livres. 

Apropos of ermine, let me tell you that 
the animal becomes very scarce, so it will be 
well for you to be provident of the material. 

■ 

An ermine mantle never costs us less than 

i 

five or six hundred louis ; the creature itself 

* 

is very small, therefore you must take care to 
write to our Ambassador at Constantinople 
that he may give his orders in Armenia several 
years before a coronation of our kings. The 

coronation of Louis XV was delayed three or 
four years in consequence of the Due de 
Bourbon, his prime minister, having neglected 
this precaution. 

In former times, the requirements of 
fashion were not a whit less expensive than 
certain obligations of rank and ceremony. I 
have heard Mme. de Coulanges say that in 
Burgundy she had expended more than eight 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 173 



thousand francs in one year alone, to furnish 
light hair for the Due de Berry ! and every 
one knew that the Regent used to pay one 
hundred and fifty louis for each of his wigs. 
On Thursday, in Easter week we were * 

* 

married with great pomp in the Chapel of 
the Hotel de Lesdiguieres, by the Cardinal 
de Rohan- Soubise, to whom the Cardinal de 
Gevres-Luxembourg insisted on acting as as- 
sistant, which was considered an unpre- 
cedented honour. 

As a great distinction we had been allowed 



* 



to have the Cross-Palatine at our wedding. 

i 

My grandmother had been engaged a fort- 

» 

night beforehand in soliciting the Cardinal 
de Noailles to lend it to us, because she said 



it was sure to bring us luck, and this the 
Cardinal did not deny ; but the conscientious 
scruples of the Prelate ran counter to his 
kinder feelings, and he was divided between 









obliging us, and acting up to the letter of his 
duty. 

A 

" But," said my grandmother to him, 



V x 



" is it possible to do enough for Monsieur 



174 RECOLLECTIONS Of A 



i 



de Crequy, the last of his family V* and 

that decided his Eminence to send us the 

Cross-Palatine, accompanied by six Canons 

of Notre Dame, who were not to lose sight 
of it. 

They arrived at the chapel to the noise 
of drums with an escort of forty grenadiers 
of the Gardes-franpaises ; the troops all pre- 
sented arms as the Cross was carried past 
under a canopy from the Archbishop's 
palace to the Hotel de Lesdiguieres, and 
the people followed in procession. The 
Ley den Gazette was full of it for more 
than three months, and for an account of 
the rest of the ceremonies and fetes at our 
wedding, you must consult the supplement of 
the " Mercure de France." * 






The Cross-Palatine was left as a legacy to the 
Church of Notre Dame by the Cardinal de Riche- 
lieu, who had caused all the sanctuaries of Europe 
to be opened to form this reliquiary. It was made 
of gold, in the shape of a Latin Cross and magnifi- 
cently ornamented with precious stones. It disap- 
peared during the Revolution of July. — (Note by 
French Editor.) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 175 



We went and established ourselves under 
the chaperonage of my grandmother at the 
Hotel de Crequy-Canaples, rue de Grenelle, 
where the Duchesse Marguerite had paid me 
the compliment of herself arranging our 
apartments. The hangings and the furni- 
ture were of cloth of gold covered with 
vine-leaves in crimson velvet ; but that 

* 

was a small portion only of her wedding 
present, for she had placed in my jewel-case 
diamonds worth about a hundred thousand 
ecus. All the family jewels were delivered 
to us at her death, which took place unex- 
pectedly two months afterwards of dropsy. 

It was eleven years since she had left 
her apartment when she quitted it for her 
grave, in the fifty- second year, only, of 

her age. 

M. de Crequy accompanied the funeral as 

far as Blanchefort, where she had wished to 

be buried in the same chapel with her son 

and Francois de Blanchefort, of blessed 

memory. My feelings for the Duchess were 



176 



RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



what M. de Crequy called " un attrait mi~ 



sericordieux f your grandfather had a strong 
and sincere affection for her, and I have 
always regretted that our acquaintance was 
not of longer duration. 





















> - 












. . 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 177 



CHAPTER VIII. 



Duchess de Berry, daughter of the Regent — Her 
treatment of the Clergy — Sacraments refused 
Her death — Her surviving sisters — Gardens of 
the Luxembourg — A fine lady — Comte de Horn 
Origin of the Regent's animosity towards him 
— The Horn family — Melancholy story — The 
Count in trouble — Exertions of his friends 
Petition of his noble relatives. 



The next two years of ray life glided by in 
all the charm of serenity, the consequence 
of a mind at ease ; our happiness would 
have been complete but for the abominable 
misgovernment of the Regency and the 
dreadful enormities of the Duchesse de 
Berry. It was really quite humiliating for 



178 RECOLLECTIONS OF A. 



the Royal Family of France, and made all 
respectable people miserable. 

This horrible woman was the plague-spot 
of our existence. She had burnt up her 
inside by the abuse of strong liquors till 
at last she fell ill, and when her danger be- 
came manifest, the Cure of St. Sulpice, (the 
famous Languet de Gerzy) presented himself 
at the Luxembourg to offer his services in 
fulfilment of his duties as pastor. 

Madame de M gave him an iin- 

pertinent answer ; she said that she should 
not announce him to the Duchesse de Berry, 
as she was quite sure that Princess would 
not receive him ; he could gain nothing 
more from this creature, and he then sor- 
rowfully declared that he should be obliged 
to forbid the administration of the sacra- 
ment to the sick person, after which the 
good Cure made his way towards the Palais- 
Royal, when the Duke of Orleans admitted 
him instantly to his cabinet. 

After half an hour's painful conference, 
one of the Prince's carriages was seen to 



FKENCH MARCHIONESS. 179 



leave the Orleans' stables in the direction of 
the Archbishop's palace to fetch the Cardinal 
de Noailles, whom the Regent begged to 
come to the Palais Royal without delay. 
The Cardinal arrived in his own carriage, be- 
cause the Orleans' arms were on the other, 
and this gave sovereign displeasure to M. de 
Segur, Master of the robes to H. R. H. who 
was the bearer of the message. 

The interview lasted a long time ; all the 
ministers, councillors and courtiers of the 
Palais-Royal awaited the result in a gallery 
adjoining the Cabinet of the Prince ; at 
length the door opens — the Cardinal crosses 
the threshold — and then, before every one 
assembled, and close to the Regent, who 
seemed in a s:ate of consternation, he ad- 
dressed to the Abbe de Gerzy the following 

sentence word for word. 

" M. le Cure, in virtue of my authority 
as Archbishop of Paris, and as your ecclesi- 
astical superior, I iorbid you to administer, 
to cause to be administered, or to allow to 
be administered to the Duchesse de Berry, 



180 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



the sacraments of the church, unless the 
Comte de Riom, and the Vicomtesse de 

M shall have quitted the Luxembourg, 

and shall have been dismissed by order of 
that Princess." 

But all this time the Duchesse was dying, 
and imperiously demanded to receive the 
unctions with the holy Viaticum ; their re- 
fusal maddened her to desperation — she 
broke or tore everything that came within 
her reach ! she bit her hands — and her pages, 
.uards, and even her footmen at the other 




end of her apartments, heard her screams 
and imprecations of frantic rage and fury. 

The wretched Duke of Orleans, who ido- 
lized her alas ! and who teared that they 
might deny her a christian burial, and such 
an one as became a Princess, sent off M. de 
Segur to the Archbishop's palace, and to the 
Presbytery of St. Sulpice to request the 
Cardinal and M. de Gerzy to come to the 
Luxembourg where the Regent awaited them 
with terror on his countenance and in his 
inmost soul. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 181 



When the three arrived and met, they 
were all positively and pertinaciously refused 
admittance by the Princess 1 She would not 
even see her father, who remained transfixed 
at the door of her room, and shed tears when 
he heard her call out that it was cowardly 
and infamous of him to annoy her, for the 
sake of pleasing some bigots, whom she was 
going to order to be thrown out of the 
windows! — The Regent returned home in 
despair. 

Youth and a strong constitution retarded 

the death of the Duchesse de Berry however, 

for five or six weeks. As she felt assured 

she would never be permitted to marry M. 

de Riom secretly, she knew that she risked 

nothing by insisting on it with her father 

and at last the Regent became enraged ! 

He sent off his daughter's favorite and their 

confidant ; the one to the frontiers of Spain 

to Marshal Berwick's army, and the other 

with permission to reti irn to her home, and 

get herself buffetted by her husband, which 

was sure to happen, for no convent would 



182 KECOLLECTIO'S OP A 



receive Madame de M . Not that she 

could not afford to pay handsomely for her 
maintenance, for she had amassed at the 
expense of the Duchesse de Berry, and by 
collusion with M. de Riom, an income of 
about 80,000 livres, levied on different pro- 
vincial estates, on the clergy of France, and 
on the Hotel de Ville. 

To ensure their gains, no hungry dogs, nor 
devouring wolves could be more greedy in 
quest of prey, than they were. 

Marie-Louise d'Orleans died on the 22nd 
of July 1719, at the Pavilion de la Muette, 
and I believe, all things considered, that the 
Regent thought himself fortunate when the 
Monks of St. Denys did not refuse her in- 
terment in the royal vaults. 

Of the four daughters who remained to 
the Due d'Orleans, one became Duchesse de 
Modena ; another was Queen of Spain and 
became a widow almost as soon as married. 
Her habits were so depraved that she wa* 
sent back at last as a worthless and wicked 
mad-cap, which in fact she was. 



FREKCH MARCHIONESS. 183 



Next came the Abbess de Chelles, and 
then Mile, de Beaujolais who died of a 
broken heart. I have not thought it neces- 
sary to mention here the Princesse de Conty 
because she was in leading-strings at the 
time of her eldest sister's decease. 

Immediately after the death of the 
Duchesse de Berry, the gardens of the Lux- 
embourg were re-opened for the enjoyment 
of the public at Paris, this Princess having 
had the gates walled up, and there one fine 
afternoon M. de Crequy took me with my 
grandmother and Miles, de Breteuil. 

We obtained chairs from the gate-keepers, 
having asked them to bring us dome, and 
when we were seated we saw a handsome 
person approaching, elegantly attired in deep 
mourning, with a dress trimmed with black 
feathers, and rows of jet mixed with bronzed 
steel, which had a most rich and brilliant 
appearance. She was surrounded by a 
swarm of gallants, abbes, musqueteers, and 
pages, but marching before them all was a 
young and handsome German Prince whose 



184 RECOLLECTICtt S OF A 



hand she held. (You will soon hear the 
sad and remarkable adventure of this ill- 
fated stranger, whose name was Comte 
Antoine de Horn.) 

The servant who carried the train of this 
fine lady was in a crimson and silver livery, 
and she came and installed herself with all 



her young flutterers, close by our side, on 
velvet chairs and benches fringed with gold, 
which a garpon rouge of the house of 
Orleans kept for her. She walked past us 
without bowing, my grandmother and M. de 
Crequy appearing not to notice her, but this 
did not prevent my cousins and myself staring 
at her with all our might. 

" Pray tell me who she is !" said I to 
M. de Crequy, 

"It is a woman of rank," replied he 
coldly and aloud," whose name one does 
not dare to mention before her relations !" 

There was a dead silence, and then the 
fine lady said to one of her young people 
who had just whispered something in her 
ear, 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 185 



" I really think that is Monsieur Pain- 

tendre !" 

These words she uttered smiling ironi- 
cally, and impertinently looking M. de 
. Crequy full in the face. Now I must tell 
you that this M. Paintendre was an ecuyer 
of the Due de Chartres. and was actually 
something like my husband, a resemblance 
of which that person was very vain, whilst 
your grandfather's annoyance was so great, 
it was amusing to witness it. Thus, the 
malicious woman had touched a tender chord 

in a vulnerable part. 

" Eh ! bonjour Marquis de Crequy ! 

bonjour rnon cousin /" exclaimed this Comte 
Antoine in a very off-hand manner. The 
Marquis bowed without answering ; and 
Madame de Froulay said to me with a dis- 
dainful toss of her head ; 

" It is your Aunt de Parabere ! — let us 
change our places ! 

I have never met her any where else, save 
once in the vestry of Notre Dame, to be 



186 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



present at a strange ceremony, which I will 
tell yo u of further on. 

The Marquise de Parabere Marie-Made- 
leine- Olympe-Henriette, du Cosquaer des dues 
de la Vieuville, had made herself so notorious 
during the regency, that her husband's family 
refused to bear the same name, Her old 
husband, Cesar de Baudean, Marquise de 
Parabere, left her a widow in 1716. 

I have already mentioned to you that my 
Aunt de Breteuil had married M. de la 
Vieuville, who was the father of this Mar- 
quise ; but her conduct so completely ban- 
ished her from good society, that my aunt 

never even returned her bows. 

" Officers of the guards and light-horse- 

that is quite ridiculous enough! — and 

counsellors 1 one can even imagine that, 

but laquais or Princes of the blood ! — it is 

too unpardonable !" exclaimed the Duchess 

de la Ferte to us once. 

There was a story told of the Regent 

having surprised her shut up in a room with 












FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 187 



this same Comte de Horn. " Sortez Mon- 
sieur !" said he. in a disdainful tone. 

" Our ancestors would have said " Sortons," 
replied the lover, with incredible assurance, 
and from that moment his destruction was 
determined on. * 

The Princes de Horn and d'Overique, 
Sovereign-Counts of Haute-Kerke, and here- 
ditary grand-huntsmen of the empire, were 

undoubtedly one of the most ancient and 
influential families of European nobility. 

In 1 720 the house of Horn comprised the 
reigning Prince Maximilian-Emmanuel, at 
that time about four-and-twenty years of 
age ; a sister, a chanoinesse at the Abbey de 
Thorn, and the grand-forestier of Flanders 
and Artois who, in a fit of insanity, had 
killed his wife Agnes de Crequy. It is as 



* Voltaire repeated to me one day a similar an- 
swer of which he had just heard, only it was said 
to have been made by the Comte de Chabot to the 
. Prince de Conty — u My dear Voltaire," I replied, 
" there was once an old Jew whose name was Solo- 
mon, who said, € There is nothing new under the 
sun I" — (Author's Note.) 



18S RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



well to add here that the mother of these 
young people was a Princesse de Ligne ; her 
father had been deranged, and her brother 
in confinement from the same cause. Their 
last grandmothers were the des Croiiy, 
d'Egmont, Crequy and Montmorency ; Prin- 
cesses of Bavaria, Lorraine, Gonzague, Luxem- 
bourg and Nassau ; the beauty of th^ir 
quarterings was unequalled. 

The Prince de Horn was a remarkably 
well-conducted young man, and lived in a 
manner suitable to his rank in the low 
countries, residing entirely in his Comte de 
Baussigny. 

The Comte de Horn began by entering the 
Austrian service ; he was reproached with 
having been wanting in respect to Prince 
Louis of Baden, general of the armies of 
the empire, to whose brother he had also 
given some cause of dissatisfaction and by 
the latter he was placed under arrest in his 
old castle of Wert in the pays de Horn. 
The grandson of the famous Jean de Wert 
was the governor of this fortress, and his 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 189 



ill-treatment so exasperated his young pri- 
soner that he fell into a state of continual 
fury and complete aberration of intellect ; 
he was confined in the same cell in which 
Jean de Horn, stadtholder of Guelders had 
imprisoned his father, and this furnished 
Rembrandt with the subject of that admir- 
able picture which Madame had brought 
from Germany, and which is now to be seen 
in the Orleans' collection. 

i 

After six months of rigorous captivity, he 
found means to escape from the Castle of 
Wert after having knocked down two of his 
goalers with a bottle ; he committed all sorts 
of extraordinary acts, and finally presented 
himself before his brother at Baussigny look- 
ing like a spectre. 

The Prince de Horn, from whom the 
governor of Wert had concealed everything 
relating to the state of the young Count, 
and the ill-treatment of which he had been 
the object, welcomed the unfortunate youth 
with the tenderest compassion ; he placed 
him in his own private apartments, and three 



190 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



servants sat up and watched him carefully 
day and night. The eldest brother instantly 
dismissed the stadtholder of Wert whose 
brutal conduct had brought on the Counts 
illness, and when the stadtholder heard this • 
he incited the peasants for five or six leagues 
round to revolt that he might still maintain 
his government. For this he was put under 

■ 

the ban of the empire, and he died shut up 
in the castle of Ilorn-op-zee. Had it not 
been for his grandfather's memory he would 
have been hanged a hundred times over. 

The Princess de Salm-Kirbourg, was a 
relation of yours and my intimate friend ; 
she was the eldest daughter of this same 
Prince de Horn, and from her I received 
these particulars, with most of those which 
follow. 

Kindness and gentle treatment, proper 
regimen, and especially the marks of affection 
he received from his brother, produced the 

most beneficial results on Count Antoine ; 
he ended by recovering his reason, but the 
least contradiction irritated him : violence 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 191 



was always lurking in his constitution, and 
therefore his family never ceased to treat 
him with the most soothing and assiduous 
attention. 

It was in this state of mind that he escaped 
from the Low- Countries, and came to Paris 
where he had to arrange money matters re- 
lating to his share of the property of the 
Princess d'Epinay. 

He lost no time in calling on your grand- 
father, who received him very politely 
but he would not introduce him to 
me because he had not brought any letters 
from his elder brother. Our brothers and 
our husbands were very fond of him ; they 
gave him the prettiest suppers in the world 
in their apartments, and took him to their 
boxes at all the theatres, but we never met 
him except at church, where he regularly 
repaired to see us come out, and to have 
people he did not know pointed out and 
named to him. 

It was impossible for us not to remark 
him amongst the crowd that lined our pas - 
sage, on account of his appearance. He was 



192 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



perfectly handsome although somewhat pale ; 
his eyes were bright as fire, so much so that 
we could hardly bear the glare of them. It 
was known that there was a full understand- 
ing between himself and Mesdames de Para- 
bere and de Lussan, de Plenoeuf and de 
Prie, and this gave rise to much charitable 
and disinterested regret, which used highly 
to amuse Monsieur de Crequy. 

As this fine handsome young man some- 
times disguised himself when he went out 
at night, the press-gangs for the Mississipi * 
had already seized him several times to send 
him off towards Havre-de-Grace ; one would 
have said that they laid in wait for him in 
particular, and as he had once been ill- 
treated at the depot, or wherever these 



* The following passage from Lord Mahon's " His- 
tory of England from the peace of Utrecht," may 
be found explanatory of this sentence : — " John 
Law, a Scotch adventurer, had some years before 
been allowed to establish a public bank in that city, 
(Paris) and his project succeeding, he engrafted 
another upon it of an " Indian Company," to have 
the sole privilege of trade with the Mississipi.'" 
Vol ii Chap. x\. (Translator's Note.) 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 193 



press-gangs met, your grandfather went and 
complained to the former garde-des-sceaux, 
who, although he had retired from office, 
had just as much influence and authority as 
ever. M. d' Argenson's answer was myster- 



ious. 



" Do not you interfere, except it be to 
make him leave Paris ; I know nothing, and 
I can do nothing ; but if he do not go, he 
is lost. I can say no more." 

It was Passion week — I shall never forget 
it ! — when they came and informed M. de 
Crequy that the Count Antoine had been for 
the last four-and-twenty hours in the con- 
ciergerie of the Palace, and that he would 
probably be brought before La Toumelle on 
a charge of murder. 

We were informed that the accusation 
set forth, that the Comte de Horn had 
stabbed, in the Rue Quincampoix a stock- 
jobber and broker of Law's bank ;* he was 






* John Law was the son of a goldsmith in Edin- 
burgh j he was obliged to fly from Great Britain 



K 



194 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



a Jew and a money-lender — in short, we 
could make nothing at all of the story. 

Your grandfather, who had been pondering 
over the words of M. Argenson, now hastened 
to assemble at the Hotel de Crequy all the 
relations and friends of the house of Horn ; 
a deputation of them waited on the chief- 
president de Mesmes, when it was ascertained 
beyond a doubt that the Jew was dead and 
that the Comte de Horn had confessed to 
having stabbed him with a knife. 

Great excitement prevailed, and it was 
debated whether they should not first of all 
communicate everything to the Regent, but 
this plan was not adopted. It was decided 
that they ought to begin by petitioning the 
magistrates, taking care to make them ac- 
quainted with the extraction, malady, and 



and took refuge in f ranee ; he gained the confidence 
of the Duke of Orleans and instituted a bank, 
founded on excellent principles of self-aggrandise- 
ment. He afterwards became Comptroller-General, 
was deservedly detested, dismissed, and died in 
poverty at Venice. — {Translator's Note.) 



9 

FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 195 



character, of the Cointe de Horn, as well as 
the melancholy occurrences of his former 
life. 

The evening before his trial we presented 
ourselves in a body as relatives of the accused 
to the number of fifty seven persons of con- 
siderable distinction, in the long corridor 
of the palace which led to the court of justice 
called La Tournelle, and this we did that 

■ 

we might bow to the j udges as they passed. 
I felt very sad ; every one else entertained 
sanguine hopes, with the exception of Mme. 
de Beauffremont, and she also was gifted 
with second sight (as they call it in Scot- 
land) therefore we both had presentiments 
of coming ill, with an awful sickness at 

heart. 

The result of the examination was, that 
the Comte de Horn had entrusted eighty- 
eight thousand livres in bank-notes, to this 



usurer, who denied having received them, 

and after behaving brutally to his noble and 

fiery creditor, even gave him a blow on the 

face. This scene took place in a room at a 

M 3 



196 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



tavern, which the Count had entered to seek 
this stockjobber, and there, in a transport of 
rage, he seized a kitchen knife which was on 
the table and wounded the man slightly in 
the shoulder. A Piedmontese, whose name 
was the Chevalier de Milhe, brother to one 
of the Princesse de Carignan's ecuyers, then 
despatched the Jew with a poniard, after 
which he possessed himself of his pocket- 
book, having begged the Comte de Horn in 
vain, to take charge of it, that they might 
divide the contents, and thus repay them- 
selves in proportion, as each had lost 
through the roguery of the money-lender. 

Such is the whole story, as it was proved 
in evidence at the examination. I know 
that our version of it differed from that of the 
Regent and the Abbe Dubois ; but you will 
allow that that is no reason why it should 
be less accurate or less true. The Comte de 
Horn had certainly rendered himself liable 
to punishment, and De Milhe was well de- 
serving of death ; but this did not prevent 
M. Law and M. Dubois, the natural pro- 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 197 



tectors of the stock-jobbers and sharpers of 
the Rue Quincampoix (the head quarters of 
the system) from making use of the most 
singularly odious means of obtaining from 
La Tournelle, an iniquitous, execrable, and 

* 

atrocious sentence ! They made no allowance 
for the sums of money of which this unfortu- 

+ 

nate stranger had been robbed, nor for the 
provocation of a blow in the face ; they never 
considered that he was scarcely recovered 
from a fit of temporary derangement, and 
that the blow he had inflicted was too 
slight to have caused death ; — lastly, that he 
had never, until then, seen or known this 
Piedmontese murderer, and that he had reso- 
lutely refused, not only to open but, even 
to touch the pocket-book. 

To be broken on the wheel ! I cannot 

think of it, even at the present moment 
without horror of the Regent ! 

As soon as the sentence was pronounced, 
we put on mourning and assembled in the 
same numbers and in the same place as on 
the preceding day. They consulted for 



198 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



about an hour 



(a blank of twenty pages) 



we took up our position in the salle des 
gardes and had the following petition pre- 
sented to the Regent, the prayer of which 
was, to obtain at least a commutation of the 
ignominious punishment of the wheel, for 
that of imprisonment for life ; 



The following is a copy of our 



petition, with a list of those who were 
allowed to sign it as relatives of the house 
of Horn. It was in every respect embarras- 
sing for us, not less on account of the rejec- 
tion or admission of signatures than in the 
difficulty of drawing up a petition in the 
name of a foreign Prince. 

Your grandfather was besieged with re- 
quests (made from* motives of vanity) to be 
allowed to be enrolled among the number of 
relations, all of which he prudently referred 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 199 



to the decision of the Prince de Ligne. 
(The Marechal de Villaroy was inconsolable 
at not being included in the convocations at 
the Hotel de Crequy!) 



PETITION OF THE RELATIONS OF THE PRINCE 
DE HORN AND THE COMTE DE HORN TO THE 
REGENT. 



"Monseigneur, 

" The faithful subjects of His 
* Majesty, whose names are here subscribed, 
" have the honor humbly to set forth to 
" your Royal Highness : 



FIRSTLY, 






" That Count Amboise de Horn, grand- 
"forestier of Flanders and Artois, has been 

<; deprived of reason and liberty for seventeen 
"years ! It is well known that in a fit of 
" madness he caused the death of Madame 
" Agnes-Brigitte de Crequy, his wife, yet the 
" sovereign-courts of Flanders and Brabant 
" did not consider himself amenable to any 



200 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



" other law save that of interdiction. It 
"appears by affidavits herewith enclosed, 
" firstly, that the said seigneur -comte obsti- 
" nately refused, whilst at the Chateau de 
" Loozen, to partake of any nourishment but 
" raw flesh ; secondly, that he reserved his 
" daily ration of wine until it amounted to 
" a quantity sufficient to intoxicate him ; 
" 3rdly, that he wounded himself on the 



" 4th day of April 1712 by means of an 



" iron hook which he attempted to drive 

" into his neck, and that he lost a great 

" quantity of blood, by which his life was 

" endangered ; — 4thly. that having found 

" means to escape from the aforesaid Chateau 

" de Loozen, he met on the road two Capucin 

" monks of Ruremonde, aud that he made a 

" most furious attack upon them declaring 

" that they must renounce their God. He 

" was armed . with two brace of loaded 

" pistols, which he had taken from some 

' of the travellers. One of the monks, 

' mortally terrified at the unfortunate Count's 

" violence, was weak enough to pronounce 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 201 



" some words of apostacy which his fears 
* supplied, whereupon the Count blew out 
" his brains, telling him that he was a 
'* wretched apostate whom it was right to 
" send to the Devil. The other monk who 
" had remained firm was shot all the same 
" with another pistol, the madman saying 
" that he would make him a martyr to his 
" fate, and send him straight to Paradise. 



SECONDLY, 



" That Prince Ferdinand de Ligne and 
" d'Amblise, Major- General in the Imperial 
" army, is under the guardianship of the 
" Prince his brother, as having been legally 
" declared of unsound mind since the year 

"1717. 

THIRDLY, 

" That the father of the late Princesse de 
" Horn and d'Overique had lost the use of 

* 

" his reason for about three years before 
"his death. 






202 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



FOURTHLY, 



« 



That Count Antoine Joseph de Horn 
" and du Saint Empire, is the legitimate 



" younger son of Philip the Fifth, and of his 



" wife Antoinette Princesse de Ligne, in 
" regular descent to the reigning Prince of 
" Horn and d'Overique, Sovereign Count of 
" Baussigny, of Hautekerke and de Bailleul, 
" Stadtholder of Guelders, and Prince and 
" hereditary grand huntsman of the first 
" class, &c. ; that he has been attacked by 
" a malady recognized by the Brabant doctors 
" as well as by the judicial authorities of 
" the Austrian Low Countries, as bearing 

■ 

" all the features of mental aberration, as 
" it appears by the documents annexed to 
" this prayer of the petitioners. 

FIFTHLY, 

" That if the undersigned forbear enter- 

" ing upon any discussion of the ground of 

" the charges, or the formality of the arrest 
" of the said Count Antoine, it is entirely from 

** feelings of deference, without any regard 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 203 



" to the trial, and they reserve to themselves 
" all reasonable means for obtaining justice 
" for their aforesaid relation. 

" For these reasons, May it please your 
" Royal Highness to obtain from the King, 



" our Sovereign Lord" — (all the rest of the 
Petition is in the customary phraseology 
which I have not copied, but I have men- 
tioned all the substance of it.) " We are, 
" with respect, your Royal Highness' very 
" humble and most obedient servants, 

Claude, Prince de Ligne. 

Jean de Croy, Due de Havre. 

Anne-Leon de Montmorency. 

Joseph de Mailly, Marquis d'Harcourt. 

Louis, Sire et Marquis de Crequy. ~ 

Procope, comte d'Egmont, Due de Guel- 
dres et de Cleves. 

t L'Archeveque et Prince D'Embrun. 

Joseph de Lorraine, Prince de Guise. 

Charles, Due de la Tremouille and Prince 
de Tarente. 

Charles de Lorraine, Prince de Montlaur, 

f L'Archeveque Due de Rheims. 



204 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



Charles de Lorraine, Sire de Pons, 
Guy Charbot, Cointe de Jarnac. 
Charles Roger, Prince de Courtenay. 
Anne de la Tremouille, Comte de Taille- 



bourg. 



Rene de Froulay, Marechal comte de 
Tesse. 

t Le Cardinal de Gevres-Luxembourg. 

Antoine de la Tremouille, Due de Noir- 
monstier. 

Louis de Rohan, Prince de Soubise et 

d'Epinoy. 

Antoine-Nompar de Caumont, Due de 

Lauzun. 






Louis de Beauffremont, Marquis et Comte 

de Listenois. 

Emmanuel-Theodose de la Tour d' Auver- 

gne, Due de Bouillon, d' Albret et de Cha- 
teau -Thierry. 

Hugues de Crequy, Vidame de Tournay. 

t Armand-Gastron, Cardinal de Rohan. 

t Henri de la Tour d' Auvergne, Abbe- 
general de Cisteaux. 

Louis de Mailly, Marquis de Nesle. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 205 



Henri Nompar de Caumont, Due de la 



Force. 



Louis de Rouge, Marquis du Plessis-Bel- 
liere. 

f Fran9ois de Lorraine, Eveque et comte 
de Bayeux. 

H. de Gontaut-Biron. (for my father, who 
was ill.) 

Charles de Rohan, Prince de Guemenee. 

Louis de Bourbon, Comte de Busset. 

Emmanuel de Baviere. 

Louis, Due de Rohan-Chabot. 

Paul de Montmorency, Due de Chastillon. 

Just de Wassenaer, Burggrave de Leyde. 

Claire-Eugenie de Horn, Comtesse de 
Montmorency-Logny. 

Marie de Crequy, Princesse de Croy. 
Charlotte de Savoy. 

Eleonore de Nassau, Landgrave de Hesse. 
Henriette de Durfort-Duras, Comtesse d'- 
Egmont. 

Victoire de Froulay, Marquise de Crequy. 



Charlotte de Lorraine d' Armagnac. 

Genevieve de Bretagne, Princesse de 
Courtenay. 






206 RECOLLECTION S OP A 



Marie-Therese de Montmorency, Coratesse 
de Dreux de Nancre. 

Helene de Courtenay, Marquise de Beau- 
ffreniont. 

Marie de Gouffier, Comtesse de Bourbon- 
Busset. 

t 

t Blanche de Lusignan, Abbesse de St. 
Pierre. 

Charlotte de Mailly, Princesse de Nassau. 

Marie Sobieska, Duchess de Bouillon, d'- 
Albret, &c. 

Francoise de Noailles, Princesse de Lor- 
raine. 

Marie de Crequy, Comtesse de Jarnac. 

Marguerite de Ligne et d' Aremberg, 
Marquise Douairiere de Berg-op-Zoom. 

Elizabeth de Gonzague, Duchesse de' 
Mirande. 

La Princess Olympie de Gonzague. 

Marie de Champagne, Comtesse de Choi- 
seul. 

Anne du Guesclin, Douairiere de Goyon. 

It had been decided that every one should 
sign this petition as they arrived at M. de 
Crequy's, without regard to the rights or 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 



207 



pretensions of precedence, and when it be- 
came known that the list was composed of 
all the most ancient and illustrious names, 
a considerable number of people were much 
annoyed at not finding their own included 
therein ; sulky looks and angry words with- 
out end, and even quarrels ensued in con- 
sequence, for, fifty years after this, the 
Duchesse de Mazarin was still complaining 
of an affront which she said her father had 
received from M. de Crequy. I could not 
imagine what this could be, until at last I 
discovered that it was on account of this 
very petition ! 




































208 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 






CHAPTER IX. 



Interview with the Regent — A promise of allevia- 
tion of punishment — Last confession of the ac- 
cused — The Bourreau — Letter from the Duke de 
St. Simon to the Duke d' Havr6 — Dishonorable 
conduct of the Regent — The Place de Gr6ve 
Note from the Duke d' Havr6 — The Regent offers 
the confiscated property of the Comte de Horn to 
his brother — Rejected by the latter — More acts 
of the " good Regent." 







We were shown into the council chamber 
order of the Regent, the chief officers 
of his household doing the honours in 
silence, and there, in ten minutes, His Roy- 
al Highness sent to inform us that he 
awaited the deputation in his cabinet. 
Those 'whom it was agreed beforehand 
should present the petition, were, the Car- 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 209 



dinal de Rohan, the Duke d' Havre, the 
Prince de Ligne and jour grandfather. 

The deepest anxiety was depicted on the 
countenances of all ; you might see by the 
gathering together of some of the women 
of our party that they were arranging them- 
selves in attitudes of prayer, and I remem- 
ber that that good Princesse d' Armagnac 
began to count her beads. 

The Duke of Orleans commenced by tell- 
ing our gentlemen that those who could ask 
pardon for the criminal (that is the word he 
used) showed more interest in the House of 
Horn than loyalty to the King. M. de Cre- 
quy besought him to deign to read our pe- 
tition. 

" Granting the possibility of his being 
mad," replied the Regent, " you will be 
obliged to allow that he is a dangerous 
madman, and that as such, it is right and 
prudent to get rid of him." 

" But Monseigneur," rejoined the Prince 
de Ligne, sharply, " a Prince of your blood 
might possibly become deranged ; would 



210 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



you have him broken on the wheel if he 
committed any acts of madness V 

The Cardinal interposed between them, 
and prayed His Royal Highness to take into 
consideration that the ignominy of the pun- 
ishment would attach itself, not only to the 
person of the condemned and the house of 
Horn, but would be a blot on the escutch- 
eons of ail the princely families and others, 
wherever a quartering of this sullied name 
should be found ; this would cause a marked 
prejudice against the high nobility of France 
and the Empire, excluding their members 
from entering noble chapters, prin cely abbeys, 
sovereign bishops, Teutonic commandries and 
even the order of Malta, where, besides being 
unable to substantiate their claims, all these 
families would be debarred from their ad- 
vantages down to the fourth generation ! 

" Monseigneur !" exclaimed the Prince de 
Ligne, " I have, in my genealogy, four escut- 
cheons of Horn, and consequently four an- 
cestors in that house ! — I must then be 
obliged to scratch them out and efface them 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 211 



for ever ! — there will be blanks and blots in 
our pedigree ; there is not a single sovereign 
family in existence who will not be injured 
by your Royal Highness' severity, and all the 
world knows that in the thirty-two quarter- 
ings of your mother will be found the shield 
of Horn !" 

Your grandfather here threw himself into 
the breach, whilst the Regent answered 
mildly, 

" Then, gentlemen, I shall partake in 
your disgrace." 

(It is not true that he said, " When I have 
bad blood I get rid of it.) 

When they saw that there was no chance 
of pardon, they were obliged to fall back 
upon the hope of obtaining a commutation of 
the punishment, and as soon as it became 
a question whether Count de Horn should 
be beheaded or put to death upon the wheel, 
the Cardinal de Rohan withdrew from the 
discussion. 

On his return to the room in which he 
had left us, we were fearful that some point 






212 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



was being argued in which the Cardinal as a 
clergyman could not participate, and from 
this we augured most inauspiciously. M. de 
Crequy also would not solicit for anything 
more than imprisonment for life ! he re- 
joined us a quarter of an hour after the 

Cardinal, looking awfully pale, and in this 
state we remained until nearly midnight, 
without speaking. It was Saturday — the 
eve of Palm Sunday. 

It was agreed and decided on after great 
trouble and difficulty, between the Duke of 
Orleans and the Duke d'Havre, (who was 
constantly interrupted by his cousin De 
Ligne) that His Royal Highness should sign 
and seal an order of commutation, which 
should be forwarded to the Procureur-gene- 
ral on the Monday, March 25th, by five 
o'clock in the morning. According to this 
promise and the Prince's word of honour, a 
scaffold was to be erected within the precincts 
of the Prison, and there Count de Horn was 
to be beheaded on the morning of the same 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 213 



day, immediately after that he had received 
absolution. 

The Regent bowed to us as he passed out 
of his cabinet, and embraced old Madame 
de Goyon whom he had known from his 
infancy, calling her also his good aunt. He 
condescended to say that he was charmed to 
see me at the Palais -Royal, which was scarce- 
ly apropos, as he saw me there for the first 
time, and furthermore he conducted the 
ladies to the door of the second room him- 
self, though he took care to show that it was 
on account of the presence of the Duchesse 
de Bouillon, and in honour of the King of 
Poland, Jean Sobieski. 

If the favor which had been promised to 
us, afforded any one any consolation, it was 
only the Prince de Ligne, who was far more 
engrossed by the honors of his heraldic bear- 
ings than by the death of his nephew. 

This unfortunate young man, would allow 
no one to visit him in prison except the 
Bishop de Bayeux and M. de Crequy. He 
had just received the communion, when 



214 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



your Grandfather entered the prison chapel ; 
Count Antoine still knelt before the holy 
table where they were concluding a mass for 
the dead, celebrated at his own request. 
(This is not in the canon-law, nor is it al- 
lowed to be used in the Low-Countries.) He 
said to M. de Crequy, 

" Cousin, with the body of Jesus Christ 

on my lips, I solemnly protest my innocence 

as far as relates to the intention of murder." 

He would not demean himself by touching 

on the infamous supposition of theft. 

He detailed the whole affair with clear- 
ness, simplicity, resignation and courage, 
and he added moreover that what he could 
not understand was, that after having par- 
taken of the prison-fare before proceeding to 
his examinations, he always felt a sort of 
giddiness and incoherence, with a quickening 

of the pulse. 

" They must have been sensible of this in 
my replies," said he, " and it is not my 
judges who will have to answer before God 
for my conviction !" 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 215 



He made these two gentlemen promise 
that they would go and see his brother and 
bear witness to him that he died protesting 
his innocence, and a good Christian ; in 
other respects he said he was not sorry to 
die, and these words he repeated five or six 
times before his two cousins, though without 
assigning any reason for them. . 

There was something fearfully mysterious 

in the fate of this young man, and one could 

almost fancy that his countenance bore the 
impress of his destiny. 

M. de Crequy went and found the exe- 
cutioner of Paris who lived at la Villette 
that he might recommend the sufferer of the 
morrow to his especial care. 

" Do not give him unnecessary pain," said 
he, " bare his neck only, and remember to 
provide a coffin in which I can have his body 
deposited until it can be sent to his family." 

The executioner promised to take all pos- 
sible care, and when your grandfather offered 
him a rouleau of one hundred Louis, he 
said he never accepted anything. 



216 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



« 



I am paid by the King, to discharge the 
duties of my office," replied this man of 
justice. 

" And in truth my good fellow," said 
M. de Crequy, " it is no ordinary call- 
ing, that of putting to death one of God's 
creatures !" 

The executioner told my husband that he 



.* 



had refused exactly the same sum two' days 
previously, offered for the same purpose in 
favor of the same person. 

M. de Crequy returned home in a state of 
indescribable affliction ; he retired imme- 
diately to bed, and when I entered his 
room to wish him good-night, I found him 
ruminating over a letter which had been 
forwarded to him by the Due d' Havre, the 
latter having received it from the Due de 
St, Simon, who was intimate with the Re- 
gent. 

The following is a copy of the letter the 
original of which I have always preserved. 

Letter from the Due de St. Simon to the 
Due d' Havre. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 217 



" My clear Duke, 

I am just setting off 

for la Ferte according to my custom during 
Easter. I did not fail to represent to the 
Duke of Orleans how utterly different were 
the effects of different punishments in Ger- 
many and in the Low-Countries, as also the 
grievous injury inflicted on a house so nobly 
and powerfully allied. I despaired of sav- 
ing his life, in consequence of the machin- 
ations of those two men who are, as you are 
aware, such partisans of the Stock Exchange 

■ 

and such warm defenders of the brokers, 
without which their credit would certainly 
fall to the ground. I have earnestly soli- 
cited (and I flatter myself I have had the 
happiness of obtaining) the commutation of 
the ignominious punishment of the wheel, 
to that of decapitation, which is in no 
country regarded as a brand of infamy, and 

i 

this will leave the illustrious House of Horn 
power to provide for the proper establish- 
ment of descendants, should there be any. 
The Duke of Orleans admitted that I was 

L 



218 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



quite right ; his word was passed for the 
commuting of the sentence and I am bound 
to believe it as a thing placed beyond doubt ; 
I even took the precaution of informing 
him as I withdrew, that I was going to 
leave the next day, and I conjured him not 
to allow his word to pass into oblivion, see- 



* 

ing that he would be assailed by two men 



who are clamorous for the wheel, and were 

capable of falsifying to the Regent the con- 
sequences to be expected from this horrible 
execution. He faithfully promised me to 

be firm, and that which inspires me with 
still greater confidence in his resolution is, 
that he himself gave me a number of good 
reasons why he should maintain it — reasons 
which had not even occurred to myself. I 
can assure you he spoke as a man of high 
birth and feeling, otherwise I should have 
thought it necessary to defer my departure. 
You know how much I am beholden to 



you, my dear Duke 



■ 









St. Simon." 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 219 



Imagine what must have been our feel- 
ings, and picture to yourself, if you can, our 
utter astonishment, deep dejection, and in- 
dignation against the Regent, when we learnt 

on Tuesday the 26th of March at 10 o'clock 
in the morning, that Count de Horn had 

been exposed on. the wheel in the Place de 
Greve, from half past six in the morning on 
the same scaffold with the Piedmontese de 
Millie ! and that he had been subjected to 
the torture before being executed ! 

Your grandfather dressed himself in his 
uniform of a general officer with his ribbon 
on his coat — he ordered six servants to at- 
tend in their state liveries — he had two 
carriages harnessed with six horses each, and 
set off for the Place de Greve ; there he 
found that, amongst others, he had been 
anticipated by M M. de Havre, de Rohan, 
de Ligne and de Croiiy. 

The Count Antoine was already dead, and 
indeed there was some reason to believe 






that the executioner, out of charity, had 



L 3 






220 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



given him his death blow (on his breast) at 
eight o'clock in the morning. 

At five o'clock in the afternoon, that is 
to say as soon as the juge-commissaire had 
quitted his post at the Hotel de Ville, these 
gentlemen had the mutilated remains of 
their relation removed and even assisted in 
the office with their own hands. No one 
except M. de Crequy had taken the precau- 
tion of bringing a carriage ; they had the 
shapeless masses placed in one of ours, 
which happened to be that bearing my 
arms. My husband and I had agreed that 
the corpse should be brought to our house, 
and I had already prepared a lower room in 
which an altar was to be erected, when 
Mme. de Montmorency-Loguy sent to say 
that she claimed the melancholy privilege 
herself, begging us to remember that she 
was born Comtesse de Horn. 



• 



(a blank of two pages in the manuscript.) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 221 



since the return of 

M. de St. Simon whom M. d' Havre an- 
swered by the following note : 



" My dear Duke, 

I can fully under- 
stand the regrets which you have been 



obliging enough to express to me, and I re- 
ceive them with gratitude. I know not 
whether it be true that the Marquise de 
Parabere obtained from the executioner that 
act of charity which is attributed to her, 
but this I know, that the Count de Horn's 
death is the result of the false policy, mer- 
cenary nature, inconstancy, and perhaps 
jealousy of the Duke of Orleans. 

W w 

You know my feelings of especial 



regard for you 



Croy d' Havre." 



If a collection were made ot ail that was 
written against the Duke of Orleans on this 
occasion, a hundred volumes could be filled. 
The Regent was not slow in repenting, and 



222 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



when he saw himself the object of animad- 
version to all Europe, he bethought him of 
restoring to the Prince de Horn the confis- 
cated property of Count Antoine, whom, in 
violation of his word of honour, he had 
allowed to be broken alive upon the wheel ! 

The following is the reply of the Prince 
to his Royal Highness, as it was reported to 
us by M. de Crequy on his return from his, 
sad pilgrimage to the Low Countries, with 
Prince Francois, (Bishop of Bayeux.) 

" Monseigneur. 

" The object of this letter 
" is not to reproach you with the death of 
" my brother, although the rights of my rank 

* 

" and nation have thus been violated in 

" your Royal Highness' person, but to thank 

" you for restoring his property to me, which 
" I beg to refuse. In accepting any favour at 

"• your hands I should be acting infamously 
" and in strange opposition to him. 

" I hope that God and the King of France 
" will one day treat your Royal Highness and 
" family with more justice than you have 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 223 



" shown towards my unfortunate brother, and 
u I remain with every good intention for your 
' ' Royal Highness's service, 



Emmanuel, Prince de Horn." 



That which was not the less extraordinary 
part of all this was, that the conduct of the 
Duke of Orleans appeared so revolting and 
became the object of such general and well- 
directed indignation, that public opinion 
espoused the quarrel of his victim, and the 
honour and estimation in which his family 
had been held, remained unimpaired. 

His brother's daughters have married 
Princes of the empire, and every time that 
the quarterings of the Horn family have been 
presented for inspection as aspiring to grand 
chapters or even electoral benefices, such as 
the Archbishoprics of Mayence, Cologne, 
and Treves, no one has even thought fit to 
insinuate, or to offer in opposition, that they 
might be branded with infamy by virtue of 
the Germanic laws or the custom of Bra- 



224 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



bant,* ce bon Regent, qui gdta tout en 
France" (as Monsieur de Voltaire used ironi- 
cally to say to us, who in fact is nothing 
more than a philosophic hypocrite and a 
flatterer in disguise ;) " this good Regent," 
let him then be called, failed not to restore 
to favour the Duke and Duchesse de Maine 
(of whom he was always afraid) whilst at the 
same time he persecuted, and condemned to 
death twenty three Breton gentlemen who 
had plotted in concert with the Duke and 
Duchess, (but of whom he was not afraid !) 
Their names however have been since re-in- 
stated, and I have remarked that all those 
judgemnts which- were pronounced by com' 
missaires under the Regency, have been 
afterwards reversed. 



* It is to be remarked that Madame de Crequy 
has made us look upon the character and career of 
the Comte de Horn in quite a new light. There is 
a curious document in the " pieces justificatives " 
to these memoirs which fully confirms the greater 
part of the facts advanced by her, and this docu- 
ment may be relied on as official. — {Note of French 
Editor.) 



FRENCH MABCIIIONESS. 



225 



I have no doubt but that the Prince de 
Horn would have obtained the same justice, 
but then he must have recognized the juris- 
diction of the Parliament of Paris, which, 
in his position, was impossible. 


































































- 






- 















• 



* 



■ 



























* 






■ I 









I 






226 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 












I 



CHAPTER X. 



Duels — Fatality attending the admirers of Madame 
de Parabere — Marechale de Luxembourg, after- 
wards Duchess de Boufflers — Marechale de Mire- 
poix afterwards Princess de Lixim — Reflections 
on dress — Family pride — A she-knight of St. 
Michael — Tuft-hunting — Comtesse de Vertus — A 
Quid pro quo, showing that politeness is some- 
times rewarded — Mademoiselle Quinault's armorial 
bearings — Madame du Deffand, at that time 
Mademoiselle de Vichy — An invalid with a tail I 
— The aspirations of a dog-fancier. 










The rage for duels was so much encouraged 
the incompetency and neglect of the 
Duke of Orleans that one heard of nothing 
but young men killed or wounded, and every 
family was iu a state of either anxiety or 
affliction. 






freit:h marchioness. 227 




In our own, we had to lament the loss of 
the Chevalier de Breteuil, one of the most 
amiable persons possible, who was killed by 
a brother officer in his regiment of guards. 
He was the younger brother of the Bishop 
of Rennes, and the Marquis de Breteuil- 
Fontenoy (whom we shall some day see 
Minister of War) and was one of the most 
famed admirers of Madame de Parabere ; it 
is impossible to say how many she had not 
lost either in some most tragical manner or 
a violent death. Many young officers 
fell in duels, two Breton gentlemen lost their 
heads, a Knight of Malta was drowned dur- 
ing his pilgrimage, and a page of honour 
assassinated in a hackney-coach ; there were 
Abbes knocked down at her door, a coun- 
sellor who poisoned himself with mushrooms, 
and a youth thrown out of window, but 
above all, the poor unfortunate Antoine de 
Horn. 

It was said that Madame de Parabere 
brought misfortune upon her admirers, but 
in certain cases, people were apt to attribute 



228 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



to jealousy that which more fairly belonged 
to the " influenza pemiciosa" or the com- 
mon course of events. 

Another most scandalous duel was that 
between the Prince de Lixin, and the Mar- 
quis de Ligueville, his wife's uncle. The 
latter was killed by M. de Lixin, and M. de 
Lixin was killed by the Due de Richelieu, as 
I shall inform you further on. 

The Princesse de Lixin, (nee Beauvean de 
Craon) became afterwards Marechale Duchesse 
de Mirepoix and I shall often have occasion 
to make mention of her. 
• It was at this period if I mistake not, 
that is, at the close of the year 1721, that 
we made the acquaintance of our young and 
pretty cousin De Villeroy, who quitted her 
Convent to marry the Due de Boufflers. She 
became a widow after that, and married the 
Due de Luxembourg, and of her, also, 1 

shall have plenty to say. 

The Princesse de Lixin always conducted 
herself in the most exemplary manner ; but 
as Marechale de Mirepoix, she used to sup at 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 229 



Madame du Barry's, and thereby forfeited the 
friendships and intimacies of her youth. 
She was more naturally elegant and distin- 
guished looking than anyone I ever knew, 
but of all women the most alive to her own 
interests as far as regarded profit and plea- 
sure. Her thirst for money (and a great deal 
of it too) reigned supreme, for she would 
have played away the revenues of ten king- 
doms at passe-dix and vingt-et-un. Her only 
passion indeed was that of gaming. 

But having mentioned the Duchesse de 
Boufliers to you, I ought also to make you 
acquainted with her as Duchesse de Luxem- 
bourg, when she was in all her glory. I may 
as well do so now as at any other time, an- 
ticipating, for the present, my story, which I 
shall again pursue in chronological order, 
from the time of my father's embassy, and 
our j ourney , to Italy. 

There were in Paris, three old people, 
contemporaries, who were for a long time 
held in pretty nearly the same estimation, 
though the social existence of each was 



230 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



widely different. The first of these was the 
Marechale de Luxembourg, and it was im- 
possible to conceive any one possessed of 
more good taste, good sense, and perfect 
amiability. Her appearance was distin- 
guished ; late in life she had turned pious, 
because nothing sits so well as devotion on 
a woman approaching her sixtieth year, and 
she continued truly so without any effort. 

The Marechale had certainly her failings, 
but the only point which appeared really 
reprehensible in her character was a conti- 
nual and excessive infatuation about the 

grandeur and (to speak plainly) the pretended 
superiority of the house of Montmorency.* 
Surely the Maillys the La Tour d'Au- 
vergnes, the Clermont-Tonnerres, aiid especi- 
ally the Kohans, were at least as good as 
the Montmorencys ! It is true that Ma- 
thieu de Montmorency married the widow of 



* Her late husband wa3 Francois de Morency, 
Due de Piney-Luxembourg. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 231 



Louis-le-gros, but then we all know the rea- 
son of that ! he was young and good-looking, 
and the Queen was an old fool ! 

Her house, her furniture, her table, her 
numerous livery servants, carriages, chapel, 
and state-room, in short, everything about 
her was of extraordinary magnificence. She 
had for her own use a work-box in solid gold, 
and her collection of snuff-boxes was the 
most splendid and curious in the world. 

Amidst all this gilding, amidst the great 
portraits of Constables, the lions of Luxem- 
bourg and the eaglets of Montmorency, it 
was somewhat startling at first to see a little 
woman simply attired in brown taffetas, 
without jewels, trimmings or furbelows of 
any kind ; but on a nearer inspection her 
countenance was so animated and good-tem- 
pered, her features so noble and regular, her 
carriage so modest, and yet one might say so 
royal ; and, lastly, her conversation was so 
cleverly varied, polished, and yet acute, that 
you listened and looked upon her with un- 
utterable pleasure. 



232 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



The dress of old people of that day pos- 
sessed one great advantage for them, and 
that was, it bore no resemblance to the 
attire of the young ; so that there was no 
chance of comparisons arising between the 
two, which could not but prove unfavourable 
to the dowagers. Old women were then 
distinct ; set apart, as it were, as being no 
more objects for dress than for gallantry. I 
quite pity those of my age, when I see them 
decked out in gay caps, deceptive kerchiefs, 
and all their costume of the most juvenile 
description ! for hence it happens that in an 
involuntary comparison with their grand- 
children, they only become objects of disgust 
themselves. 

I have no doubt but that the disrespect, 

or rather the impertinence of the young peo- 

pie of the present day towards the old arises 

in a great measure, from their foolish mode 

of dressing. 

It would be impossible to describe the 

Marechele de Luxembourg better than Mme. 

de Flahaut has done in one of her pretty 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 233 



romances, for which, in my eyes, she deserves 
infinite credit, as she was never in the society 
of the Marechale, nor ever likely to be ! 

It was said of old, that men of good so- 
ciety sometimes lost their polish and refine- 
ment after having been associated for a long 
time with women of an inferior grade, and 
that these same women often acquired the 
polite usages of the world and contrived to 
pick up good taste and manners from the 
crumbs that fell in the company of their 
superiors, which proves at least that good 
taste is not thrown away on all the world ; 
but it was likewise said that this was but 
the ornamental varnish — that on examina- 
tion you might detect the colours of the old 
picture appearing beneath the new colour- 
ing — that on the least provocation for in- 
stance, there would be an explosion of 
words, a deluge of gestures, and sometimes 
revengeful acts which betrayed the innate 
vulgarity. 

I have had no opportunity of personally 
testing the truth of these observations, but 






234 RECOLLECTION S OF A 



with respect to finding the perfection of 

good manners sometimes equally shared by 

the high-born and those of a lower grade, 

it appears to me a very natural transition 

to pass from the Marechale-Duchesse de 
Luxembourg to Mademoiselle Quinault, on 

whom my grandmother (not less of a fine 
lady than Madame de Luxembourg) took me 
one day to call, evincing a tone of regard 
and ceremonious politeness which came na- 
turally from her, and which it would be 
very difficult to feign in the present day. 

There is a long paragraph for you 1 I 
began to think it would never end and my 
pen is quite out of breath ! 

But, apropos to the Montmorencys, I 
have not told you all I have to say about 
them, and whilst I am on the subject I 
may as well relate one more anecdote con- 
cerning them, lest I forget it. 

The Vicomtesse de L... thought proper 
one day to ape her defunct cousin of Lux- 
embourg, and so she wrote the following 
note to the Marechal de Segur who was at 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 235 



that time Minister of War and had refused 
to entrust the command of a regiment to 
the son of the Vicomtesse : 



" I know not Monseigneur, whether you 
" have read the history of our family, but 
" you would there see that formerly it was, 
" apparently, easier for a Montmorency to 
" wear the Constable's sword, than to obtain 
'* in the present day the epaulettes of a 
" Colonel !" 



The reply of the Marechal de Segur was 
very apropos — he said that he had read the 
history of France and that he concluded the 
M, M. de Montmorency had always been 
treated according to their deserts J 

Mademoiselle Quinault was an old maid 
who lived on a pension from the privy-purse, 
and she was descended from the famous 



t 






Quinault, Poet and Actor. It was generally 
known that she also had made her debut at 
the opera, but by common consent no one 
was to recollect that circumstance or to feel 



236 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



certain about it, consequently if ever the 
scent lay in that quarter the hounds were 
to be whipped off. 

It was allowed that she had been Vamie 
intime of the Due de Nevers, who was Man- 
cini, nephew to the Cardinal Mazarin and 
father of the present old Due de Nivronais, 
so you see Mile. Quinault was no chicken ! 
They said she had once been very pretty 
but her great superiority consisted in her 
knowledge of the world and her incompar- 
able tact. Mile. Quinault did not care for 
money, but her ruling passion was for " grand 
acquaintance." She had played her cards 
so skilfully aud her batteries had been so 
well directed that, besides placing herself 
permanently in good society, she had also 
attained to a perfect equality with the 
loftiest and most unapproachable heights in 
the world of fashion. 

It was not known how she made her way, 
but certain it is, she obtained the collar 
and order of St. Michel with a considerable 
pension, and she had superb apartments at I 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 237 



the Louvre, overlooking the garden on the 
side of the Seine. 

Thus, she was always rising higher and 
higher, from the old Due de Severs, to the 
Comtesse de Toulouse and the Due de Pen- 
thievre who were eminently the possessors 
of all the cardinal virtues ; who distilled 
dignity as it were, and who, as authorities 
on conventional proprieties, were considered 
perfect oracles ; in short, all the most pow- 
erful and illustrious at Court, and the most 
important in the city arrived in turn most 
reverentially to pay their respects in the 
drawing-room of Mile. Quinault, who had 
the good sense never to pay visits, for, as 
she humbly informed you, she never took 
the liberty of calling on any one. The 
celebrated Madame D'Epinay had great dif- 
ficulty in finding among her acquaintance 
some one who possessed a sufficient footing 
to present her to Mile. Quinault. 

"VVe found then, Mile. Quinault, com- 

- 

fortably established under the royal roof ; 
she was dressed in black and white damask, 



238 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



because the Court was in half mourning, 
and wore a large hoop. Her manners and 
appearance were as good as they could be, 
but she was not rouged, as we all were, 
consequently she disarmed the ridicule to 
which such an assumption might have given 
rise. 

I have already mentioned that Mile. 
Quinault was decorated with the order of 
St. Michael ; it was bestowed upon her on 
account of a magnificent anthem which she 
composed for the Queen's chapel, and I 
should think that she was the first woman 
to whom the black ribbon was ever given. 
On our entrance, we found her seated side- 
by-side with the Due de Penthievre, who 
was, as you are aware, the grandson of Louis 
the Fourteenth. There were also present, 
the Dowager Duchesse de Bouillon, the 
Princesse de Soubise, and her sister the 
Landgravine of Hesse, Mile, de Vertus, the 
Vidame de Vasse, the grand prior of Au- 
vergne, the Comte d'Estaing — in fact all 
Madame du Defand's great people. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 239 



< 



Mademoiselle de Vertus was an old Prin- 
cess of the house of Britany, and, I think, 
the last of her family. There had existed 
some bad feeling between our families arising 
out of a law-suit which she sustained 
against us with the Marquis de la Grange, 
her nephew, and the most mischievous liti- 
gant that ever lived. That is all I know 
about it ; but whatever it was, as we had 
quarrelled, I had never seen Mile de Vertus, 
no more than Mile Quinault, and in mistak- 
ing one for the other, a capital game ot 
cross-purposes arose. 

In the first place I commenced a fire of 
conversation with Mile, de Vertus, next to 
whom I found myself seated ; I made her all 
sorts of pretty little speeches, and she seemed 
touched and surprised by my politeness, for 
she was an excellent and religious woman. 
All this time my grandmother, who con- 
versed with the lady of the black ribbon, 
whom I mistook for some Chanoinesse of 
Remiremont, kept watching me with the 
greatest uneasiness, and told me afterwards, 






240 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 




as we were leaving, that she had made up 
her mind that I had suddenly gone mad I i 
Mile. de. Vertus, finding me so well dis- 
posed towards her, imagined that I deserved 
some proof of her recollection ; we were 
connected, and they told me she expected 
me to pay her a visit, but in four or five 
months she died, after having been obliging 
enough to append a codicil to her will, 
which means a sum of forty-thousand francs 
in good louis d'ors, fell into my little exche- 
quer, and all for mistaking Mademoiselle 
Anne de Bretagne, Comtesse de Vertus and 
a Peeress of France, for Mile. Quinault, 
chevaliSre de Vordre du Roi ! 

Imagine the congratulations that were 
showered upon me for having been so pro- 
vident and so good a relation, quite una- 
wares ! and as we should endeavour to draw 
a moral from everything, we may say that 
in the olden times politeness sometimes 
earned its own reward ! 

Touching unexpected presents, unusual 



acts of generosity and Mile. Quinault, I; 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 241 



must tell you that long after this, the Mare- 
chale de Mirepoix who accepted everything 
and never gave aught in return, showed me 
notwithstanding, a beautiful seal which she 
had ordered for this lady, and which she 
was going to send her as a New Year's gift. 



" What !" said I. " a seal with arms 



upon it for Mile. Quinault V 

"And why not mon cceur ?" replied the 
Marechale with imperturbable gravity — " is 
not Mile. Quinault a person of rank ? her 
grandfather was ennobled by the late King ; 
you see every day in the streets, arms with 
the coronets of Counts and Barons which 
are not a bit better than hers ; moreover 
the President d* Hazier de Serigny had these 
emblazoned for me from his register." 

" And how about the opera V said I. 

" Oh ! the opera — say nothing about that 
or they will call you malicious ; besides, 
singing at the opera does not derogate from 
one's nobility ! M. le Moine," she added with 
a smile, " M. le Moine, ecuyer, Sieur de 
Ghasse, and first singer at the Royal Acade 

M 



242 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



my, of Music, is cousin-german to Monsieur 
. de Vaudreuil." 

To conclude properly, the biography, pane- 
gyric, and apotheosis of Mile. Quinault, I 
t-hould add, that Princes of the blood sent 
their great officers and carriages to her 
funeral which was splendid, and the armorial 
bearings presented by the Marechale de Mire- 
poix were displayed everywhere. 

It remains to me only to speak to you of 
the Marquise de Deffand who was no longer 
young when I met her in the world, but her 
importance was so firmly established, and 
she was treated with such consideration, 
that some people were utterly confounded 
by it, and amongst these were the Marechal 
d'Estrees, and the Duchesse d'Harcourt in 
particular ; they appeared to know a great 
deal more than they chose to say, and I 
always thought they held their tongues from 
regard for the relations and friends of this 
blind old sinner. The following anecdote is 
wholly unknown to her biographers and even 
to her enemies ; I had it from the Baron de 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 243 



Breteuii who was in the King's household at 
the time, and he had it himself from the 
late Lieutenant of Police. 

Mademoiselle de Vichy de Champron was 
a boarder at the Convent of the Madeleine 
de Traisnel, in the Faubourg St. Antoine ; 
she was perfectly beautiful, and at that period 
was not more than sixteen years of age. 

M. d'Argenson, the garde des sceaux was 
acquainted with the superior of this house 
whose name, (I happen to recollect it exactly) 
was Madame de Veni d'Arbouze. A visit 
from Monsieur le garde-des-sceaux was quite 
an event as he never called on any one ; he 
never went out of a foot's pace in the streets 
but seated in an arm chair alone at the back 
of his great coach, he was escorted by his 



archers, and followed by another carriage 



containing the casket in which the seals of 



France were kept, and further, by three 



counsellors Chaaffecire who kept as close to 
him as his shadow or his Cross of the Holy 
Ghost. 

* 

The superior received him in the parlour. 

u 3 



244 RECOLLECTIONS OF A. 



" I have not time to stay," said he bow- 
ing, " but you have here the daughter of the 
Corate de Champron V 

" Oui Monseigneur." 



" I recommend you then to send her back 
to her parents secretly, as quietly and as 
quickly as possible ; I wished to say this to 
yourself alone — adieu Madame." 

M. d'Argenson had organized the Paris 
police himself, and this was the way their 
system was carried on in those days. 

The Nun was thrown into the greatest 
state of alarm and nervousness ; her anxiety 
came stronger upon her in the middle of 
the night, and she visited the cell of the 
pensionnaire ; she found it empty and she 
remained in it until the return of the young 
lady, which was about four or five o'clock in 

the morning. It is not known what com- 
munication took place between them, but 

the superior wrote the following day to the 

Comte de Champron giving him to understand 

that his daughter could no longer remain at 

the Madeleine de Traisnel. 









FKENCH MARCHIONESS. 245 



* 






The father arrived from the Bourbonnais 
in all possible haste but he had scarcely 
alighted from his carriage before the Regent 
sent to tell him to repair to the Palais Royal, 
where the Prince wished to speak with him 
instantly, and this was, to propose to him to 
start forthwith for the army of Catalonia 
with the rank of Brigadier, whereas M. de 
Champron had never served higher than as a 

Colonel. 

The unfortunate father guessed the truth, 

and left the Regent's presence without deign- 
ing to reply, and as he feared some violence, 
he carried off his daughter so rapidly that 
all the rest of the intrigue was knocked on 
the head. 

And where do you suppose he placed her 
for safety \ At the chanceUerie ! with M . 
le garde-des-sceaux in the Place Vendome 
where she remained under lock and key for 
above six months, and only left it to marry 
the Marquis du Deffand who was an officer 
in the garde-du-corps of the Duchesse de 
Berry. 



246 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



We never appeared to suspect anything, 
but we thought we observed that whenever 
the Regent's name was mentioned Madame 

* 

du Deffand seemed very uncomfortable and 
became suddenly dumb. 

My aunt de Lesdiguieres had another 
story about her which proves the cold- 
blooded nature of her character. My aunt 
went and called upon her in company with 
Madame de Bourbon-Busset, expecting to 
find her more or less depressed as M. de 
Pont-de-Vesle was dying, and for the last 
twelve or fifteen years he had lived in the 
enjoyment of her best of graces. 

After the first compliments had been ex- 
changed, Madame de Bourbon-Busset asked 
her (with a long face of tender interest) the 

* 

news of the dear invalid. 

Eh, mon Dim ! I was thinking about 

it," exclaimed the old Marquise quickly, 

" but I have only one man-servant here just 

at present, so I was going to send one of my 

maids to ask after him." 

*' Madame," replied the other, " it rains 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 247 



torrents. I beg of you to let her go in 



my carriage." 



" You are excessively kind, and I thank 
you a thousand times," said the Marquise 
looking highly delighted. " Mam'selle," 
(speaking to a maid who had answered the 
bell) " you are to go and inquire after our 
little invalid ; the Comtesse de Bourbon- 
Busset allows you to go in her carriage on 
account of the rain, but you are by no 
means to trouble her footmen to accompany 
you ! I am very grateful and quite touched 
by the interest you take in my favourite," 
she continued ; " he is very good, and so 
clever, so amusing, so gentle and caressing ; 
I suppose you know that Mme. du Chatelet 
procured him for me V 

The two friends looked at each other, 
not daring to reply to a communication so 
confidential and ill-timed ! They talked 
about other things and at last the carriage 
returned. 



« 



Well ; how did you find him 1" 



248 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



" As well as he could possibly be, ma- 



dame." 






" Would he eat anything to-day V* 

" He wanted to amuse himself by gnawing 
an old shoe, but M. Lyounais would not let 
him." 

" Well !" exclaimed my aunt, " that was 
an extraordinary fancy for an invalid !" 

" In short, is he able to walk now V 
asked the Marquise. 

" I am unable to answer that, madame, 
because he was lying doubled up, but I saw 
that he knew me quite well to-day, for he 
wagged his tail /" 

" Monsieur de Pont de Vesle f" cried the 
visiters. 

" A lions done /" said Mme. du DefFand ; 
• we are talking about my little dog ; but, 
by the bye," she added, addressing her ser- 
vant in a dry sharp voice, " do not forget 
to send and inquire after the Chevalier de 

Pont de Vesle." 

As you are not obliged to know who M. 
Lyounais was, I tell you that he was a Doc- 






■ ' 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 24 & 



ft 

tor who lived on the Place de Greve and 
who had made sixty thousand livres a year, 
by taking care of sick cats and dogs who 
were boarded with him. When they talked 
of putting up for sale the seigneurial estate 
and ruins of the old Chateau of Courtenay, 
I set about (to shame the heirs of this im- 
perial family) that Lyounais was about to 
become the purchaser, and that his son 
would bear the name ; which, by the way 
would have been a difficult thing to prevent, 
for according to custom in seicrneurial matters 
in the vicomte of Paris all plebeians might 
acquire and hold, feudal lands. 

It would have been a bad joke certainly 
for the cause of it was not generally under- 
stood, but the report spread all over Ver- 
sailles, and so dreadfully alarmed the Cardinal 
de Fleury that he immediately despatched 
M. de Fourqueux to Paris to purchase the 
estate, together with the seigneurie of Cour- 
tenay, purposing to reunite them to the 
crown. 

Instead, however, of becoming the pos- 
it 5 



250 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



sessor of the Lordship of Courtenay, Monsieur 
Lyounais contented himself with the noble 
estate of Pontgibault, which had descended 
through my aunt de la Tremoille, the last 
member of the ancient house of Lafayette ; 
but you must not confound this with the 
family of that philosophical and republican 
Marquis who has been waging war in America. 






\ 



i 












> i 















, 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 251 



CHAPTER XL 



A disastrous year — Rejoicings on the King's re^ 
covery — A loss, Cartouche's death ! — His favorite 
book and meritorious end — An adventure, a friend 
in need — A mal-apropos salute to the King of 
Cyprus — An old idiot in spite of her teeth I — A 
mitred fool — Gallican Joe Millers. 



You have not yet heard ail I have to say 
about that unlucky year, 1721 ; against 
which I have always had a spite, on account 
of the tragical end of poor Comte Antoine, 
and for other disasters which I must content 

- 

myself by disposing of summarily. 

First of all, there was the King's illness. 



252 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



which kept us in a state of the most painful 
anxiety for upwards of a fortnight ; then 
the bankruptcy and flight of Law, whom 
there was much difficulty in protecting from 
the fury of the populace, and the misery and 
the general ruin produced by the downfall 
of his system ; next, the plague at Marseilles, 
and, not least, a fire which destroyed the 
whole of my village of Gastines, which cost 
us a hundred and twenty thousand livres, as 
much in what we disbursed in charity, as for 
the loss of our seigneurial rights and revenues, 
which M. de Crequy remitted for three 
years ;* lastly, the Regent put a slight upon 
M. de Crequy by favouring M. de Belisle : 
who was not at that time either a Marshal 
of France, a Duke, or a Peer ; and he was 
very angry at this. Your grandfather car- 
ried the insult with a high hand; he wrote 



- 



The peasants of Gastines were horribly un- 
grateful to us ; we had their Tillage rebuilt, and the 
tirst thing they did at the commencement of the 
revolution, was to set fire to our Chateau ! 

1795. (Author's Note.) 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 253 



to the King, then sitting in council, saying 
that he could no longer continue to serve 
him with honor ; he also wrote four lines to 
the Regent, noways complaining, but merely 
tendering his resignation of the general-direc- 
torship of the infantry ; and then we set off 
for Venice, where my father was ambassador 
extraordinary. 

Before leaving Paris I should have liked to 
have told you of the universal depression which 
lasted during the King's illness, as well as of 
the rej oicings which took place on his reco- 
very ; but all the cotemporary writers have 
anticipated me in the description, sol shall 
only mention that the municipal bodies, the 
City of Paris, and the Marechal de Villeroy, 
His Majesty's Governor, bore all the expenses 
of the Te Deum, and the civil rejoicings, for 
the Regent and his son never undrew their 
purse-strings. 

The Tuileries were magnificently illumi- 
nated with coloured lamps which hung from 
tree to tree in garlands of fieurs-de-lys ; all 
the avenues were embellished with tall yew- 



254 RECOLLECTION S OP A 



trees trimmed in the form of fleurs-de-lys, 
and the fire works, which were discharged 
every quarter of an hour, bore the same 

shape. 

No display, more regal or more national 

was ever beheld ; the Tuileries, the sur- 
rounding streets, and even the roofs of the 
houses were filled and covered with crowds 
of people, and their joy was so frantic, that 
at last it made the little King giddy, and he 
rushed to take refuge in a corner of the 
Scdle-des-gardes, where he seated himself on 
a bench by us, saying he could bear it no 
longer ; it was only about a quarter of an 
hour afterwards, that the Marechal de Ville- 
roy came and said to him " Mm Maitre, 
will you shew yourself again to your good 
people, who love you so well, and who are 
waiting for you." 

That, I can assure you, is all that the 
Marshal said, and the King immediately 
returned to the balcony, without requiring 
any more pressing. M. de Villeroy always 
appeared to me the vainest, the most unrea- 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS.' 255 



sonable, and the most bombastic of courtiers ; 
but upon that occasion I can certify that he 
never uttered one of those arrogant and 
stupid expressions which M. de St. Simon 
has so kindly attributed to him. 

About this time, 1721, the friends of 
Cartouche had to deplore his death ; but I 
cannot say that it was a loss which I felt 
very acutely. He had undergone torture, 
both ordinary and extraordinary, with won- 
derful endurance, and had never divulged 
the name of any o ne of his accomplices : but 
the cure of St. Sulphice, whose attendance 
he had solicited had not neglected to point out 
to him, that one of the first obligations of a 
Christian was, to speak the truth, when so 
ordered by the judge, that judge being ap- 
pointed by the legitimate sovereign. 

Religion obtained from this malefactor 
what the most dreadful sufferings could not 
extort ; he named all his accomplices, amidst 
torrents of tears, and that effort was so 
super-human, painful, and meritorious, that 









256 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



he will assuredly reap the benefit of it ia 
a world to come. 

w 

This extraordinary man, Cartouche, had 
had some books of his choice brought to 
him in prison, and M. d'Aguesseau told us 
that the one whch he read over and over 
again with renewed pleasure, was entitled 
" The Deacon Agapet on the duties of an 
Emperor."* We had the curiosity to make 
ourselves acquainted with this work of 
Cartouche's selection, and Madame de Beauf- 
fremont and 1 found it was a silly and most 
tiresome book of the middle ages, the weary- 
ing translator of which is a Carmelite called 
Jean Cartigny. You will find the very 
volume in my library, and upon almost all 
the margins you will see sums, and little 
men drawn with a pen and signatures of 



Cartouche's. We could not comprehend 
what pleasure such a man " could take in 
reading such a work. 






' 



* ■ ^ » 'Mill 



w 



* " Le diacre Agapet, touchant lea devoirs cTun 
Empereur." 



.■ 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 257 



The only adventure we had in crossing 
France, on our way to Italy by Monaco, 
occurred to us as we were walking on the 
Quay at Toulon ; they were leading a coiner 
to the gallows, who stopped short to look at 
M. de Crequy, exclaiming that he knew of 
something very important for the King's 
service, which he would only reveal to niy 
husband, who had had the command there 
for a long time and was, without any meta- 
phor, idolized. 

M. de Crequy was at first a little surpri- 
sed, but immediately whispered to me that 
though he did not believe a word of it, he 
could not refuse to listen. The crowd was 
accordingly kept at a distance, whilst I 
maintained tight hold of your grandfather's 
arm, that I might not be left alone in the 
middle of that copper-coloured, ragged, 
howling and garlic-smelling population, for 
the principal officers of the port who compo- 
sed our escort, had been separated from us 
in the confusion. 

" You do not recollect Thierry, Monseig- 



258 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



neur % — Thierry, who was your armourer \ 
is it possible that you have forgotten 
Thierry T 

" What do you want of me V answered 
your grandfather. , 



" Monseigneur, pray have the charity to 
write to the King, that you have found poor 
Thierry here in a cruel state of trouble — 
that is all I have to say to you, but do not 
refuse me that service I beg of you, Mon- 
seigneur !" 

My husband kept his countenance won- 
derfully, and said in a solemn manner to 

the Prevost. 

" I must request you sir, not to allow that 
man to be executed until you shall have 
heard from me." 

That very night he wrote off to M. de 
Maurepas, who expressed himself quite di- 
verted at the idea of granting us the pafrdon 
of that poor coiner ! I always pity coiners 
who are put to death ; it is a law which 
one would say had originated with jobbers of 
the revenue and griping traffickers rather 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 259 



than with noble councillors and Christian 
magistrates. 

We passed eight days at Monaco with 
our fair cousin de Valentinois, who treated 
us sumptuously, and saluted us with a salvo 
of thirteen guns from her fortress. When 
M. de Crequy enquired the reason of this 
and asked her jokingly why she received us 

in her metropolis with such civility, she 
said : 

" Never you mind, Louis-le-Debonnaire ! 
was not my grandmother's grandmother one 
of your family % if you say another word 
about it, I shall have you saluted when you 
leave, with twenty-one guns, as I salute my 
neighbour, the Duke of Savoy, King of Cy- 
prus and Jerusalem !" 

I should here inform you that the late 
Duke of Savoy was desperately in love 
with her, and he often arrived at Monaco 
without drums or trumpets that he might 
give her an agreeable surprise ; Mme. de 
Valentinois, who was very fond of her 

young husband, and who most assuredly 









260 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



did not at all like their neighbour of Cyprus 
and Jerusalem, (he being seventy years of 
age and humpbacked,) discovered nothing 
more effectual to put a stop to his amorous 
and gallant surprises, than to have salutes 
fired from all the batteries of the fort of 
Monaco as soon as he passed the frontiers of 
the principality. 

This noble and powerful heiress of the 
ancient Princes of Carignano, Salerno and 
Monaco, was the last daughter of the sover- 
eign house of Grimaldi. She had allied 
herself with the grandson of the Marechal 
de Goyon-Matignon. 

My uncle de Tesse always used to say 
that there were three sorts of people, 
whites, blacks and Princes! and as' far as 
relationship was concerned Louis the Four- 
teenth was like the greater part of the no- 
bility, or even a country gentleman, for he 
loved his relations and evinced for the 



- 



. _ . 



Harcourts and the Crequys a goodness which 
sometimes amounted even to tenderness. 
He always took cognizance of their affairs, 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 261 



and of their children, and even informed 
himself of the economy of their houses ; 
but where the King displayed most anxiety 
for his relations, was when there was a pro- 
bability of their forming some bad match ; 
all the world knew that he gave 400,000 
ecus to the Marquis de Chabannes-Curton to 
free his estates and prevent the necessity of 
his marrying the only daughter of Colleteau, 
a rich merchant of Rouen. 

Instead of carrying into effect this dis- 
graceful shop-alliance, Henri de Chabannes. 
Marquis de Curton, liberated his Comte of 
Rochefort in Auvergne from debt, and the 
following year married Mademoiselle de 
Montlezun who was extremely handsome. 
She died of the small-pox, and in 1 709 he 
married Catherine d' Escorailles, the widow 
of our c ousin Sebastien de Rosmadec, Mar- 
quis- de Molac and Guebriant. In 1748 she 
was a ridiculous old creature who hid and 
shut herself up when she ate lest it should 
be discovered that she had no teeth. She 
died choked by a half ball of ivory which 



262 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



she used to keep in her mouth to fill out 
and give a roundness to her right cheek, or 
perhaps the left, for I do not recollect which 
side of her jaw was the worst. 

However, it was always in one or the 
other, and she died chirping like Punch, on 
account of the piece of ivory which she had 
in her throat. The priest, whom they had 
sent for to hear her confess, thought she 
was laughing at him ; her servants did not 
know what to say, and if the Vidame de 
Vasse had not arrived, this wreched woman 
would have died without receiving absolu- 
tion. 

When the Abbe de Matignon arrived at 
his uncle's, at Lisieux, they hastened to 
show him the Cathedral, telling him that the 

English had built it. 

" I saw at once," said he, in a tone of dis- 
gust, " that it was not made here !" 

The first thing be did upon taking up his 
abode in the Bishop's palace, at Lisieux, was 
to have straw littered thickly under his win- 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 263 



dows and all over that part of the great court 
which at all abutted on his own apartment. 

" That is the way they manage in Paris" 
said he to his uncle, " to keep away noise*" 

" But you are not ill ! — and there is no 
great noise of carriages to be afraid of at 
Lisieux." 

" Very true, Monseigneur, but it appears 
you do not take into consideration the noise 
of the church bells ! I detest the sound of 
bells, and will neglect no means of deaden- 
ing the noise of them !" 

Some time afterwards, he said to my 
Grandmother, De Froulay ; 

" There is M. de Lisieux just dead, thank 
God ! You might as well tell Madame de 
Maintenon to make them give me the blue 
ribbon which my uncle had !" 

" How old are you V said she to him. 

" Ah dear me ! I am only thirty-two ; 
that is one year less than the statutes exact ; 
but you can say to Mme. de Maintenon that 
/ ought to be thirty-three, because my mo- 
ther had a miscarriage the year before my 



264 RECOLLECTIOJiS OF A 



* 



birth — I have always computed," he pur- 
sued, looking quite satisfied with himself as 
an experimental calculator, " that that 

threw me back one year !" 

When his sister-in-law the Princess of 
Monaco was brought to bed of her first child 
who was the Marquis de Baux, he hastened 
to announce the good news to his brother 
who was with the army, but he had 
neglected to inform himself of the sex of 
the new-born infant, and you will see how 
he got out of that difficulty. 

(M. de Crequy happened to be at the same 
time with the army of Flanders, where 
the Comte de Thorigny was serving under 
him, and he took a copy of this curious 
letter which I faithfully transcribe for your 



benefit : 






- 



# « 



I am at present at Torigny where I 















* " Je suys de present a Torigny venu pour lea 
cousches de vostre chaire femme, quy a failly de 
mourir et quy vient d estre heureuxement d^lifree 
dun gros enfant, quy fait des crys de chouhette en 
colesre, au point que j'en suys si joyeux et si trouble 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 265 






<c came for the confinement of your dear wife ; 
" she was very near dying, but has just been 
" safely delivered of a fine child, who screeches 
" like an owl in a rage, to such an extent that 
" I am too happy and bewildered to be able, as 
" yet, to tell you whether I am an uncle or an 
" aunt. Adieu ; I remain with many compli- 
" ments, your brother," 

" f Leon, Bishop & Count," 

of Lisieux." 
" Why t" asked he one day of the maid 
who looks after his poultry yard, " why have 
you not wit enough to sell my chickens at 
four pistoles each as they do parrots, which 
are not half the size V* 

" Do you not see Monseigneur, that your 
chickens cannot talk as parrots do." 

* 

" Well, even if they cannot/' he replied 
in a rage, " they do not think the less 



u que je ne vous saurais dire encore, si je suis son" 
" oncle ou sa tante. Adieu seyey Monsieur mon frere" 
" et bien des compliments, 






t Leon, Evesque et 









* 



Lisieux 






s 



266 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



on that account !" and the saving became 
proverbial. 

The Duchess de Brissac declared to us on 

her oath that she actually received from him 

whilst he was staying at Gace with their 

cousin De Matignon, the original of that 

absurd letter which is now to be seen in 

every one's budget of jokes : 



a 



Madame, 



" Being aware of your predilection for red- 
" partridges I send you six, of which three 
" are grey, and one is a wood-cock ; you will 
" find this letter at the bottom of the basket." 

In other respects he had all the inclina- 
tion to become a flatterer and a courtier, 
but when he attempted that line, his folly 
was the more conspicuous, witness his inter- 
view with Mademoiselle de Sens. i 

He was commissioned, I never knew why ] 
or wherefore, to break the tidings of the 
death of the Count de Charolois (Louis-Hen- j 
ri de Bourbon-Conde) who was an abandoned 

creature, to the Princess. Mademoiselle de 






Sens saw him arrive in his Bishop's dress, 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 267 



and knowing nothing further, bee an to 



question him as to whether her poor brother 
had had time to settle his mind as to 



.. ...She intended to allude to certain testa- 
mentary acts, but he understood her to mean 

the affairs of another state, and interrupting 
her in the blandest tone, he said : 

" Alas ! Mademoiselle, I know that he 
was an abominable character ; that he killed 
his own sister with a hunting knife, and 
that he used to fire upon the country people 
at Chantilly just as if they had been hares, 
to say nothing of the number of workmen 
he used to bring down from the roofs, making 
them roll over and over into the court-yard 
of the Palais de Bourbon, but the Divine 

* 

Mercy is very great Mademoiselle, and God 
ought to think twice before he passes judg- 
ment upon a Prince of the blood !" * 



" Monseigneur," said Louis the Fifteenth to 
this Prince one day in the presence of all at his levee, 
* I forgive you this once, but I swear solemnly as a 
man of honour, that I would grant letters of free and 
entire pardon to any one who should kill you !" 

{Authors Note.) 



268 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



I will spare you the infliction of a host of 
stories which I could relate about M. de 
Matignon, but I must tell you one more 
which I had from the Marechal de Tesse and 
which I believe to be original. 

My uncle was passing a few days in the 
autumn at Thury at the Duchess d'Harcourt's, 
and the coadjutor of Lisieux happened to 
be there at the same time. 

They were amusing themselves by discuss- 
ing an old rogue in the neighbourhood who 
passed there for a very great man, because 
he regularly wore court mournings whenever 
there were any, and occasionally expended 
some of his savings in the ready-furnished 
houses, and Cafe's of the Capital. He used 
to tell his boon-companions that the King 
(Louis XIV) always treated him with un- 
paralleled distinction, and seeing him once 
rushing from Paris to Versailles, the perspira- 
tion dropping off him, and covered with dust 
he had the goodness to receive him with open 



arms. 






" Eh, good day, friend Gaudreville ! it is 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 269 



a thousand years since we saw you ! How 
do you do 1" 

" Why sire, pretty well, thank you, if 
it were not for the fatigue of the journey." 

" I dare say you would not be sorry to 
refresh yourself with a little of my Macon 



wine \ 



v> 




" Faith ! that is an offer not to be re- 
fused !" 

Here the old Squire was interrupted 
an ecuyer of the Marechal de Tesse who 
happened to be one of the hunting party 
and who could not refrain from bursting 
into a fit of laughter. 

" "Well V* observed a country gentleman* 
one of the good-natured audience, " is the 
King's wine not the best that can be found V 

" But," replied Gaudreville, looking to- 
wards the ecuyer with a discontented air, 
" I did not drink any of it." 

" How was that T 

" Why you see," he pursued, sacrificing 
a part of his story to preserve the rest, and 
gaining fresh courage, " they always used 



270 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



» 



to come and inform the King, that the 
Queen had gone to vespers and had taken 
the cellar key with her ! 

The coadjutor thereupon observed with a 
knowing look : 

" What a fool ! he might have seen that 
this was but an excuse of the Queen's, who 
did not wish him to have the wine at all !" 

I think I may take upon myself to say 
that so gross a piece of stupidity never be- 
fore escaped the lips of a grand seigneur ! 






• 



• 






« 















F 









• 









* 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 271 



CHAPTER XII. 



• 






An Ambassador extraordinary — Expediency — Death 
of the Pope — A d'Este — A wonderful telescope 
Extraordinary instance of two monks " taking a 
sight," proving " a glass too much !" — The Jaco- 
bite court at Rome — French superiority — A Con- 
clave — Adventure of a Conclavist. 



i 



My father had refused to be anything in 
Italy except Ambassador extraordinary, but 
whatever talents he might have fancied he 
possessed for negotiation, he very much pre- 

. ferred Paris life to a continued residence in 
any foreign country. 

, . Since the death of the King, it appeared 

■ 

to be the general opinion that France would 



consult her own interests the most by mak- 




272 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



ing common cause with England ; my father 
could not adopt this idea as a principle, but 
he approved of it for the time being, on 
account of the establishment of the bank 
of Ostende, whither the Emperor Charles VI 
had undertaken to draw into his own nets, 
all the commercial advantages of other states 
and of the maritime powers in particular. 

It was requisite to concert measures with 
the republic of Venice, where M. de Fre- 
mont, the ordinary resident minister of 
France, was suspected of being favorably 
disposed towards the Imperialists ; such 
were the apparent objects of this embassy 
of the Count de Froulay. But as the 
Pope's health was daily declining it was easy 
to foresee an approaching conclave, and my 
father had then a mission to go to Rome to 
advance the interests of France, by carrying 
thither the veto of this crown and that of 
Spain against the Cardinals Charles, Colonna, 
Fie de la Mirandola, and Zondodari, who 
were downright Imperialists, Proetorians un- 












FRENCH MARCIIIONESS. 273 



der their purple, Csesarians, and regular 
Ghibellines of the XHIth century. 

On our arrival at Milan, early in the 
month of March, we learnt there the death 
of the Pope, and the departure of the 
Count de Froulay for Rome, where we arri- 
ved after having stayed eight days at the 
Court of Modena. M. de Crequy would 
insist upon proffering this politeness to the 
eldest of the House of d' Est, a relation of 
his, who gave us a profusion of fetes in 
church, festivals at Court, balls at the thea- 
tre, and parties in the country. 

The Duke of Modena (Renard d' Est, 
third of the name) had been a Cardinal 
before he married the sister of the first 
Duke of Hanover, whom he had survived 
some years ; this Princess was the eldest 
sister of the Empress Amelia of Brunswick, 
wife of Joseph the First. 

Prince Francois of Modena was quite 
shocked because his wife, (who, as I have 
before informed you, was a daughter of the 
Regent, and received us very ungraciously) 



274 RECOLLECTION* S OF A 



would sometimes wear Persian silks, and he 
asked me if it were possible that they were 
worn in Paris. I was obliged to allow that 
many young women had adopted this sort of 
material for morning dresses in the dead 
season, but never in the spring, nor for the 
evening ; and still less for Court. 

The Princess of Modena was the first 
woman of rank whom I ever saw wear these 
dresses of coloured silk, which, as well as 
those of muslin and lawn, always appeared 
to me to look wretchedly mean. 

We were told such things of this Prin- 
cess, that it is impossible to repeat them ; 
all that 1 can possibly say is, that the late 
Duchess de Berry and the Queen of Spain, 
were prodigies of innocence and purity, in 
comparison to their sister of Modena ! 

At that time everybody in Upper Italy 
was talking of Ferracino, the celebrated 
Ferracino, who could not read, and yet had 
just set up a telescope of his own invention 
on the tower of Mirandola. 

It was a wonderful instrument, the pro- 









FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 275 



portions of which were calculated to enable 
one to observe, not only the spots on the 
sun or anything on the moon's surface, but 
to distinguish with perfect clearness all that 
passed within four or five miles of Mi- 
randola. I have seen it directed upon a 
house in the little village of Strolla ; it was 
a tavern, and you might easily make out 
the sign, which was the figure of a Nun, 
with this inscription : 

" A lla beata Giulia Falconieri," 
At the very moment, a veteran was 
counting his beads, seated on a stone bench 



at the Inn door, and by his side was a 



child weaving a basket of rushes ; we could 
perceive by the alternate motion of their 



lips that the little fellow was responding to 
the rosary with the invalided soldier, who 
wore the remains of a yellow uniform and 
had a wooden leg ; I see them now ! 

We were credibly informed that the dis- 
tance between Mirandola and Strolla is, as 
the crow flies, very nearly four geographical 
miles of twenty-five to a degree. 



276 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



About three weeks after our arrival in 
the States of Modena, two monks in their 
novitiate, belonging to the Capucin Convent, 
happened to mount to the observatory that 
they might look through this same telescope, 
and one of them made the instrument to 
bear upon a little wood of evergreen oaks, 
in the midst of which another Capucin Con- 
vent was situated, far off in the country, 
where the monk had commenced his studies, 
and in which he felt a strong interest. 

Scarcely had he applied his eye to the 
glass before he uttered a fearful cry and im- 
mediately whispered something to his com- 
panion, who gazed without uttering a word ; 
they then both rushed down hastily, after 
taking the precaution of turning the tele- 
scope, telling Ferracino that if he were rash 
enough to look at what they had had the 
misfortune to see, he would commit a mor- 
tal sin ; Ferracino paid no regard to this 
caution but all that he could perceive was, a 
tall Capucin emerging from the oak wood, 






FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 277 



and making his way towards Mirandola, 
keeping the high road of the Secchia. 

However, the two young monks went and 
revealed to the guardian father of their com- 
munity, what they had seen with the tele- 
scope ; he, on his part, departed forthwith 
to the Ducal Palace, where he forced his 
way through the guards, saying that he 
wished to speak with His Highness as soon 
as possible ; they answered him that His 
Highness was taking his siesta, upon which 
the Capucin tore his beard, exclaiming that 
the honor of the Order of St. Francis was 
concerned ; it was the Duke of Modena 
himself who told us all this. 

" But why do you not go and see what 
this superior of the Franciscans has to say to 
me Y said he to the gentlemen of his cham- 
ber. They returned and said that he would 
explain himself to no one but the Duke in 
person. 

What the two novices saw, and what could 
not have been seen except by means of a tele- 
scope, or by the fowls of the air, was, the 



278 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



murder of a Capucin, whose body the 
murderer dragged to a raviue, after having 
stripped it of the gown. He then clothed 
himself in the garments of the deceased and 
came out of the wood in the direction of the 
city, where the Duke of Modena had arrived 
two days before, to assist at the solem- 
nities of the festival of some patron-saint or 
other. 

What the guardian-father wanted was, 
that the Duke of Modena should send some 
soldiers into his Convent, men of courage 
and resolution, and not such cowards as the 
sbirri were, (who, moreover were almost 
always in league with the brigands.) This 
was, in order that they might seize the mur- 
derer, who was sure to seek an asylum with 
the monks of St. Francis on the strength of 
his Franciscan habit, and still further, be- 
cause he could not be harboured in any other 
house in the town. 

The two novices had observed everything 
with remarkable attention ; they could not 
be mistaken in the person, seeing that the 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 279 



monk's habit was much too short for the 
robber ; he was furthermore without beard, 
and if thev removed the cowl with which 
he had concealed his head, it would be found 
that he had long hair, black and curly ; fi- 
nally as he could not get his feet into the dead 
man's sandals, indubitably he would arrive 
with shoes, if not with bare feet, all of which 
proved perfectly correct. 

In consequence of the report of the novices, 
and the request of their superior, the Duke 
wrote to the Commandeur Hercule d'Est, 
who was governor of Mirandola, and na- 
tural brother of His Highness. Soldiers 
were stationed within the cloister, and the 
murderer was arrested there ; he proved to 
be a Chief of Piedmontese brigands, and 
was hanged two days before our arrival, with 
his head downwards, after having first had 
his hand cut off. 

The Chevalier de St. Georges whom the 
Holy Father received in the States of the 
Church with royal honours, and who, since 
his journey to France, had married the 



280 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



grand-daughter of the King of Poland, Jean 
Sobieski, was living handsomely but quietly 
at Rome, whither all the Jacobites flocked 
to keep up his hopes, or at least to pay 
homage to the noble exile, their lawful and 
their only sovereign, according to their con- 
science and their laws of their country. 

Queen Marie Clementine was handsome, 
amiable and accomplished ; she possessed 
good taste, a good disposition, and con- 
siderable attraction for the French nobilitv, 
among whom her sister made some grand 
matches, for after the death of the Duke de 
Crequy-Blanchefort, she married in succes- 
sion (that is the proper term) the Duke de 
Bouillon-Turenne, and the Prince de Tu- 
renne, his brother's heir. 

The English Court was established on a 
very good footing in the Borgia Palace, 
which the Queen Dowager Maria of Modena 
had purchased for her son from the Cardinal 
Howard of Norfolk, and they had placed 
over the door the arms of England, 
Scotland and Ireland, with those of France 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 2S1 



in the first quarter ; I never could hold my 
tongue on this subject, and I cannot imagine 
how " les Rots tres-chretiens" could ever 
tolerate such an absurdity.* 



* The English Government and the royal family 
removed the fleur-de-lys from the British shield 
during the reign of George the Third, according to 
a particular stipulation which Buonaparte had in- 
serted in the treaty of Amiens. Bearing date 
from the same treaty, we may mention, that the 
Kings of England no longer assume the title of 
King of France, which they persisted in doing ever 
since Henry the Sixth usurped the crown of France. 

{Note of French Editor.) 

* The arms of France were first quartered in the 
English shield by Edward the Third, who assumed 
the title of King of France, in right of his mother 
Isabel, daughter of Philip the Fourth King of 
France, and they were not discontinued in the 
British shield until the union of Ireland 1801. 
George the Third was the last English sovereign 
who was crowned King of France. The question 
of this title formed no part of the articles in the 
treaty of Amiens ; but in the negotiations for a 
treaty at Lisle under Lord Malmesbury, the French 
Commissioners appointed by the Directory, 1797, 
insisted that the King of Great Britain should 
henceforward desist from assuming the title of King 
of France, but those proposals were declined on the 
part of England, and the conference was broken 

off. — {Translator's Note.) 



282 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



The motto of the British shield is in 
French, as are also, I am informed, the in- 
scriptions which designate the names and 
titles of the Knights of the Garter, and of 
the Bath, in the Chapels of Windsor and 
Westminster, as are also the oaths contained 
in the statutes of these orders, and the for- 
mal messages of the Crown to the English 
parliament. It appears that everything 
you see or hear at the Court of England 
bears the impress of the Normans or An- 
gevins, branded with the indelible traces of 

the Conquest. 

It is perhaps worthy of note that the 
French cast off their old customs, whilst 
almost all the aulic customs of Europe owe 
their origin to French usages. In a pro- 
clamation of Henry the Third, the gentle- 
men of his Chamber are enjoined " not to 
neglect to wear henceforth their golden keys 
at the back of their doublet, according to 
the ordinance of the Court," and at the 
present time we see that all the gentlemen 
of the Chamber or Chamberlains, wear gold 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 285 



keys, except those of the King of France. 
The ceremonial of the Holy Empire, the 
regulation of the Couit of Austria, and the 
etiquette of the Palace of Madrid are all 
evidently derived from the " loy des hon- 
iieurs de la cour de Bourgogne ;" but among 

no people in any country, is the original so 
lost sight of, and the imitation so apparent, 
as in England. 

All the English antiquaries agree in deny- 
ing this, and the obstinacy with which they 
do so is supremely ridiculous ; they cannot 
deny that the oaths, the statutes and the 
mottos of the Royal Orders, as well as the 
principal forms of the Crown of England 
and of the Chancery, are purely nothing 
more than French sentences. The Chan- 
cellor of England is moreover obliged, twice 
a year, to pronounce publicly and judicially, 
(if not judiciously), " Le roi remercie son 
bon penple de son benevolence."* 






* Royal Assent. The right of saying yes, whichis 



284 RECOLLECTIONS OF A 



In fact all their coins and inscriptions, 
their temples and the palaces of their Kings, 
their tombs, and the British shield* down to 
the very coin of the realm, all are covered 

* 

with emblems, gothic phrases and French 
legends. English subjects cannot even ad- 
dress their sovereign without making use of 
French, and calling him " sir ;" they say 



A , • 



sometimes dictated by the fear of saying otherwise. 
The Royal Assent is usually given by commission, 
and the clerk of the Parliament is compelled to re- 

_ ™ 

peat some Norman-French ; but as some of these 
clerks have, on economical principles, attempted to 
acquire French without a master, they often make 
a sad mess of it. Cromwell, the Protector, who 
tried to protect the King's English, did away with 
the custom of assenting to a Bill in French ; but at 
the restoration, the old barbarous method was re- 
stored, and prevails at the present moment." 

Punch, Oct. 1845. 



* The origin of some of these Gallic inscriptions, 



if recalled, would not afford much food for French 
vanity — for instance — The motto of " Dieu et mon 
droit" was adopted by Richard the First, in conse- 
quence of his having defeated the French at Gisors, 
A.D. 1198, those words having formed the English 
Monarch's parole on that day. — Translators Note. 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 285 



" madam" to their Queen and not " milady." 
I should fancy that that must be exceedingly 
mortifying to English pride, but what I find 
richer than all is, that His Majesty of Eng- 
land still touches for King's evil, in virtue 
of his being King of France ! 

I refrain from any remarks on his title 

of " dejender of the faith." 

Queen Marie Clementine had succeeded to 

a share in the royal inheritance of the 
Sobieski, exclusive of some fine estates in 
Poland and three millions of Roman crowns, 
a state bed, and three rubies of inestimable 
value. This splendid bed was a trophy 
from the battle of Vienna, and the material of 
which it was made, was taken from that part 
of the fortification where the standard of 
Mahomet with the Alcoran upon it, was 
placed for security. It was a brocade from 
Smyrna of cloth of gold, upon which 
Islamite verses were written with turquoises 
and fine pearls. 

This magnificent piece of workmanship 
was a present from the immediate nobility 



288 RECOLLECTIONS OP A 



of the Cardinal-electors, were merely alcoves 
adjoining the cell of their conclavist. * 



■w 



Apropos of conclavists, I must tell you 
that the Cardinal de Gevres had one who 
was called the Abbe de Beaumont ; I shall 
often have occasion to speak of him, and 
during a protracted period, as he died Arch- 
bishop of Paris in 1781. He was at that 
time a handsome young man of eighteen or 
twenty years of age, of angelic modesty, but 
with the devil's own appetite ! He was curi- 
ous about antiquities, and was always making 
excursions in the campagna of Rome. 

The Cardinal had another French Abbe 
as train-bearer, with whom little De Beau- 
mont used to make archaeological expeditions 
or pilgrimages beyond the walls, and upon 
one occasion they were obliged to sleep in a 
public house, being overtaken by a violent 
storm. The train-bearer went off at once 



• 



* The person in attendance on, and shut up with 
a Cardinal during the conclave. — ('translator's 
Note.) 



FRENCH MARCHIONESS. 289 



to bed without any supper, which would not 
exactly have suited the conclavist, so as 
soon as the latter had finished his repast, 
they gave him a little lamp and told him 
that he must go and sleep with his com- 
panion, for they had no other bed to offer 
him, 

" The little door on the right, at the end 
of the long passage of the ground floor on 
the left — there are two steps to ascend — 
you cannot go wrong..." and there he 
placed himself by the side of his companion. 

I must tell you that this room had for- 
merly been used as a kitchen, and there was 
a fire of juniper branches kept up on the 
hearth for the purpose of drying and smok- 
ing sundry flitches of bacon. 

The Abbe de Beaumont had not been in 
bed more than five or six minutes, when he 
saw the door open and a pretty young girl 
came in with a tallish lad ; they went and 
knelt very properly at the two corners of 
the chimney piece and began to recite the 
litanies of the saints ; the youth had im- 



290 MCOLLECTIOK S OF A 



perceptibly approached the young girl on 
his knees, and when he was quite close to 
her, he was just going to kiss her, when she 
bounded to the other end of the room ex- 
claiming. 

" You are a regular Turk ! — in the pres- 
ence of a dead boby V 

The Abbe de Beaumont then perceived 
that he had an icy cold leg by the side of 
his own, and he made a movement to turn 
himself round and look his neighbour in the 
face. ..It was a corpse !... 

You may think how he got out of bed, 

* 

and imagine the terror of the poor girl. 






END OF VOL. I. 



T. C, Nbwby, Printer, 72, Mortimer Street, Cavendish Sq. 






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